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New Delhi The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the abrogation of Article 370 and the law against triple talaq, all long-standing demands of the majority of Indians, have been achieved in the last decade, President Droupadi Murmu said on Wednesday before the last session of Parliament, the second Narendra Modi government with a Opening speech to a joint session of Parliament.

President Droupadi Murmu addresses the joint session of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget session in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

In an 80-minute speech at the new Parliament House, Murmu showcased the government's achievements over 10 years in various areas and gave insight into the issues that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will focus on before the 2024 elections.

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“Since our childhood, we have heard the slogan 'Garibi Hatao' (Indira Gandhi's plank in 1971). Now, for the first time in our lifetime, we are witnessing massive eradication of poverty,” the President said, adding that poor people are the four “strong pillars of Viksit (developed)” along with youth, women and farmers. Bharat”.

READ | On the eve of R-Day, President Murmu described the inauguration of Ram Temple as a milestone

From security to space, from digital infrastructure to women's empowerment, from agriculture to foreign policy and from the economy to the climate crisis, the president listed policies, plans and milestones in his speech, often comparing them current situation with that before the Narendra Modi government took office in 2014.

Speaking in the new Lok Sabha chamber, Murmu said, “For centuries there has been a desire to build the Ram Mandir. Today it is reality. There were doubts about abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. That's history now. This Parliament also passed a strict law against “triple talaq…” to thunderous applause from the ruling lawmakers led by Modi.

The President described the Ram Mandir as “a matter of aspiration and faith for millions of our countrymen and the solution to this problem has been achieved in a harmonious manner” and welcomed the installation of Ram Lalla (the little ram) in a “great temple”. in Ayodhya and said: “There are turning points in the history of civilizations that shape the future for centuries to come.” There have been many such crucial moments in the history of India too. This year, the country experienced a similar epochal moment on January 22nd. After centuries of waiting, Ram Lalla has now been enshrined in his grand temple in Ayodhya.”

READ | 'As you prepare for Pran Pratishtha…': President Murmu writes letter to PM Modi ahead of Ram Temple inauguration

In her speech, she also mentioned the Modi government's flagship programs for poor people and cited a recent NITI Aayog report which said that in the last decade of the government, about 250 million Indians were lifted out of poverty (defined by a multi-dimensional Index that tracks access). on essential services and products). Murmu added that a significant portion of tax revenue is spent on strengthening the four pillars, pointing out that for example 6 lakh crore was spent to give 41 million poor families their own pucca houses (permanent houses).

Welfare and basic services were a recurring theme in the President's speech.

“For the first time, piped water has reached about 110 million rural families. Around 4 lakh crore will be spent on this. Meanwhile, 100 million Ujjwala gas connections have been provided. These beneficiary sisters also receive cooking gas at very favorable conditions. My government has spent around 2.5 Lakh Crore for this scheme. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, 800 million Indians have received free food rations. This facility has now been extended for a further five and further years Rs 11 lakh crore would be spent on this,” she told Parliament.

Highlighting Digital India for her special attention, she said 46% of all real-time digital transactions globally take place in India and the government has so far transferred this 34 lakh crore through DBT (direct benefit transfer), preventive 2.75 Lakh Crore for falling into wrong hands.

Murmu also explained the government's efforts to empower women and reminded Parliament that this year's Republic Day parade was dedicated to this cause. At the country's 75th Republic Day parade on January 26, women were seen everywhere, in flypast, in mechanized columns, in marching groups, in bands and in the cultural spectacle.

“My administration has expanded the role of daughters everywhere – in the sea, on land, in the air and in space. We all know what economic independence means for women,” added Murmu, India’s second woman and first woman tribal president.

She added that around 100 million women are affiliated with self-help groups 40,000 Crores loan and said, “Of the more than 460 million loans given under Mudra Yojana, more than 310 million loans were given to women.”

Two other recurring themes in the President's speech were Amrit Kaal, the 25 years between 2022 and 2047 leading to the 100th anniversary of India's independence, and Viksit Bharat (Developed India). Murmu said the government's vision of Viksit Bharat is not just limited to economic prosperity. “We place equal emphasis on social, cultural and strategic strengths. Without them, development and economic prosperity would not last.”

Murmu said: “This is the time for India to plan the future for the coming centuries… Therefore, my government is now working on a grand vision.” This vision also has a program for the next five years. There is also a roadmap for the next 25 years.”

The President spoke about the massive expansion of physical infrastructure over the last decade and how the government has prioritized over 100 million small farmers in its policies. The focus is on “making agriculture more profitable,” she said. Our goal is to reduce agricultural costs while increasing profits,” she announced.

Over the last decade, Murmu said, India has transformed from a “fragile five” to a “top five” economy, with an increase in its tax base and exports. It has continued to grow despite global headwinds from Covid and other crises and has also managed to keep inflation under control, she said.

India is the world's fastest-growing major economy, the first country to plant its flag at the south pole of the moon and launch a successful solar mission, Aditya said, Murmu said.

She also stressed that India's influence on the world stage is growing.

“Even in this time of global disputes and conflicts, my government has firmly placed India’s interests above the world. The scope of India's foreign policy today goes far beyond the constraints of the past. Today, India is a respected member of many global organizations. Today, India is a leading global voice against terrorism,” she said.

“Today, India is responding forcefully and taking initiatives for humanity in crisis. Wherever there is a crisis in the world today, India tries to respond promptly… The whole world appreciated the historic G20 summit in India. The unanimous adoption of the Delhi Declaration even in a fragmented environment is historic,” the President said.

Murmu quoted late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as saying that the country will never stop its journey. “My government moves forward with a guarantee to fulfill the dreams of 1.4 billion Indians.”

Young people in schools and colleges have different dreams and desires (than previous generations), she told MPs. “It is the responsibility of all of us to leave no stone unturned to realize the dreams of the Amrit generation.”