Prez talks sanctity of Constitution to governors

Prez talks sanctity of Constitution  to governors

At a time when Arunachal Pradesh governor J P Rajkhowa’s actions are being scrutinised by the Supreme Court, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday that all those holding constitutional positions should maintain the sanctity of the Constitution.

Addressing the 47th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the national capital, he said India’s growth from strength to strength was primarily due to the steadfast adherence to the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

“It is an enduring document that reflects our aspirations and the avenues to achieve them, in an inclusive manner. It is incumbent on us all who hold constitutional positions to maintain the sanctity of this sacred text,” Mukherjee said.

His comments came as the Supreme Court is hearing a petition challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh following a report from Rajkhowa that there was a Constitutional breakdown in the state.

Though no order has been passed, the apex court said on Monday that Rajkhowa could not summon “at his whims” the state Assembly session after he decided to advance it by a month to test Congress-led government’s majority.

Acknowledging that 2015 was a “difficult year”, he referred to states having international borders being affected by terrorist attacks that had “clear external linkages”. Without taking names, he was referring to the terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab aided by Pakistan.

“Volatile external security environment makes it incumbent on us to upgrade our defence capabilities. At the same time, we have to continue our efforts at resolving all outstanding international issues through peaceful dialogue and negotiations,” he said.

The President also highlighted the issue of pollution and distress in agriculture sector due to drought. On the pollution front, he said citizens have a right to lead a healthy, happy and productive life but “this right appears to have been breached by the distressing pollution levels in our cities”. He asked the governors to play a “catalysing role” in mitigating the dangers to environment calls.

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