Prof. Soz on President's address, in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: Prof. Saifuddin Soz, MP, former Union minister and President of J&K Pradesh Congress Committee, delivered following speech in Rajya Sabha today on the resolution presented by the Treasury Benches for the Hon’ble President’s  Address to the Joint session of Parliament:

“Mr. Deputy Chairman: there is a situation of relief in my mind that India has become a strong democracy and institutions have also become strong. Otherwise, any other country would have collapsed under the burden of the onslaught of propaganda towards sectarian polarization through an unprecedented level of  Paid News.

Having said this, I would like to  say that the President’s address is a disjointed document of assertions.

I welcome the assertion related to generation of hopes, improvement of  the public distribution system and giving  the agricultural production a fillip. We shall see how Mr. Modi will do it differently. But,  there are many broader questions in my mind.

The address talks of growth  without any commitment from Modi government for taking the growth to a higher level. Gujarat Model has also not been explained it. In fact, it has all been a propaganda. The Address has not even mentioned  inclusive growth. How can there be growth without including weaker sections, Muslims and other minorities. Modi Government has asserted that it will show zero tolerance for Extremism  and Terrorism. The UPA First and Second were committed to this already. I think Modi Government’s intention are not clear. I regret that the BJP did not utter a word on the assassination of an innocent youth belonging to a minority community in Pune, recently.

I regret that Modiji talks of modernization of madrassas. It is an ongoing scheme. What about  the implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee Report which had rightly been accepted by the Manmohan Singh Government? Modi Government  does not  say how it will give space to Muslims in the developmental process and in the political power. It is a major question as to how many Muslims Modiji got  into  Parliament of India and how many Muslims had Modiji got elected to Gujarat Assembly.

The major question before  the country is how Modiji can build a strong  and modern India without including Muslims, other minorities and weaker sections of society. I remind Modiji and ask him to see a Roll of Honour in the Port-Blair Jail indicating the names of Muslims who suffered incarceration in that Jail alongwith their brethren.

I lament that J&K state has been left out from the Address. The Address does not  say a word on rebuilding infrastructure  in J&K state and it’s overall development. It does not say a word on completion of Zoji-La Tunnel which can connect backward Ladakh region with  the mainstream. I regret  that the BJP does not  want to say anything on the one-time package for the refugees from Pakistan and PoK settled in Jammu.

The only thing the address indicated was that Kashmir Pandits should go back to  their homes in Kashmir. I regret that the Address does not indicate what the Government  was doing for Kashmiri Pandits.

I urge Modi  Government to accept the rehabilitation package for Kashmir Pandits that had already been recommended by the J&K Government.

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