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President’s address to parl.
Published on 22 Feb. 2011 1:03 AM IST
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Tackling corruption and inflation are high on the government’s agenda, President Pratibha Patil said inaugurating the important budget session of parliament Monday. She also underlined that sustaining growth while ensuring equity and ushering in reforms would be among the priorities.
“My government’s foremost priority will be to address frontally the concern regarding lack of probity and integrity in public life,” Patil said in her 45-minute address to the joint sitting of both houses in the packed Central Hall of parliament. The emphasis on anti-corruption measures by the president comes a day before the 21-month-old UPA II government is likely to announce the formation of a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Contrary to the noisy scenes all through the winter session, the address of the president on the inaugural day of the two-month budget session passed off by and large peacefully.
Demand for Telangana reverberates; warns govt
Congress MPs from Telangana region of the Andhra Pradesh Monday warned the Government of the situation going out of hand if a separate state comprising their region was not carved out of Andhra Pradesh. After leading a demonstration of Telangana region MPs on Parliament premises just after President Pratibha Patil’s address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget session, Congress MP Kesav Rao told reporters that the government was not realising the strong sentiments prevailing in the region for a separate Telangana state.
During the President’s address also, the MPs from Telangana region vociferously expressed their demand causing disturbance for some time. Rao said they were not doing anything against their party but only trying to attract the party’s attention to the long-standing demand of the people. He said the committee set up by the Government on the Telangana issue had given its report, so there should now be no delay in taking a decision.
Earlier, in the Central Hall of Parliament, when the President was almost halfway through her speech, there were shouts of “We want Telangana” from the members, particularly those belonging to the Congress.
The Members also displayed banners and placards inscribed with their demand for carving a separate state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh. However, the President continued with her speech, and the members too claimed down after a while. But when after finishing the speech, Patil was moving out of the Central Hall of Parliament, the members again burst into shouts voicing their demands and continued with their demonstration.

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