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Changes in J&K will enable people to enjoy similar rights as others in India: President Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the nation on the eve of Independence Day. Photograph:( IANS )

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 14, 2019, 07.53 PM (IST)

On the eve of India's Independence Day, President Kovind addressed the nation today asserting that recent changes in Jammu & Kashmir including Ladakh would be of immense benefit to the region.

"The changes will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country," President Kovind said.

The Parliament had earlier this month adopted a resolution to repeal Article 370, which provided special powers to Jammu and Kashmir. It also passed a bill to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh without a legislature.

The reorganization bill was signed by the President after it was passed by the two Houses of Parliament and it was notified by the government on August 9.

"We are at a special juncture," the president said adding that the government was enabling all basic provisions including progressive, egalitarian laws and provisions related to RTE, accessing public information through RTI, reservations in education and employment and other facilities for deprived communities.

It also includes justice for our daughters by abolishing unequal practices such as instant Triple Talaq, the President added.

"This year also marks the 550th birth anniversary of one of the greatest, wisest and most influential Indians of all time Guru Nanak Devji. He was the founder of Sikhism but the reverence & respect he commands go far beyond just our Sikh brothers and sisters."

"We complete 72 years as a free nation at a very special juncture. In a few weeks from now, on October 2, we will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the father of our nation Mahatma Gandhi, the guiding light of our successful effort to liberate our nation," President Kovind said while addressing the nation.

"India's tradition has been live and let live," he said, adding," small towns are being connected by air."

"When we design and deliver welfare programmes for our disadvantaged fellow citizens and families when we seek to harness the power of the Sun as renewable energy, we put Gandhian philosophy into action," he said.

The President thanked the people for taking part in the 17th general election and congratulated the voters for turning up at polling stations enthusiastically in large numbers.

President Kovind also recalled the sacrifices of freedom fighters and revolutionaries who made sacrifices for the country's freedom from colonial rule.

Story highlights

The J&K reorganization bill was signed by the President after it was passed by the two Houses of Parliament and it was notified by the government on August 9.