Prime Minister addressed the country On India’s 63rd Independence Day

3:15 PM, Sunday, August 15th, 2010

New Delhi:  On India’s 63rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh addressed the country from the historic Red Fort after hoisting the flag on Sunday morning.

The Prime Minister started his 7th consecutive I-Day speech by paying condolences to the people killed in devastating flash floods in Ladakh. The PM said, “No efforts will be spared to rehabilitate people of ladakh.”
The PM said Naxalism is a serious challenge to internal security and government will deal firmly with those who resort to violence.

The Prime Minister appealed to Naxalites to abjure violence, come for talks and join hands with the government to accelerate social and economic development.

Committing to his government’s resolve to deal firmly on internal security, Singh said the Centre would provide “all possible help” to states to “maintain the rule of law” in areas affected by Naxalism.

The Prime Minister also promised to fully implement the consensus that emerged in the meeting he held with Chief Ministers of Naxal-affected states and stressed the importance of both the Centre and state governments working together to meet the challenge posed by the ultras.

“It is imperative that the Centre and the states work together to meet the challenge of Naxalism. It would be very difficult for any state to tackle this problem without cooperation from the Centre and coordination between states.
He also said that the Planning Commission will formulate a comprehensive development scheme for Naxal-affected areas.
On Pakistan, the PM said India wants a strong, stable and united Pakistan. But Islamabad has to move on terror. “If Pakistan does not act on terror against India, we cannot progress far in the dialogue process,” says PM.
“Whatever differences we have with our neighbouring countries, we want to resolve them through discussions. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India,” Singh said addressing the nation from the ramparts of the majestic Red Fort on the 64th Independence Day.
He said India has been emphasising this in all its discussions with Pakistan.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told agitating youth in Kashmir that violence will not benefit anyone and that the government, within the framework of the state being an integral part of India, was willing to move forward in any talks with those who abjure violence.
Addressing the nation on the 63rd Independence Day from the ramparts of historic Red Fort here, he promised to carry on the recently initiated dialogue process with an emphasis that the Indian democracy has the “generosity and flexibility” to address concerns of any group.
While expressing deep regret for loss of lives on the streets of Kashmir in the last two months, Singh left no one in doubt that the state is an integral part of India.
“Within this framework, we are ready to move forward in any talks which would increase the partnership of the common man in governance and also enhance their welfare,” he said as he unfurled the national tricolour for the seventh consecutive Independence Day.
“We are ready to talk to every person or group which abjures violence,” Singh said.
Referring to the recent unrest in Kashmir in which over 50 people lost their lives, he said, “The years of violence should now end. Such violence would not benefit anyone”.
Recalling that he recently participated in a meeting with political parties from Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “We will endeavour to take this process forward.”
Saluting the soldiers of India the PM said we are facing some serious challenges and we should not be divided on any basis. The PM said India’s democracy is an example to the world.
Asking people to treat the Commonwealth Games as a national festival, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday exuded confidence that the country will successfully host the October event, preparations for which have been plagued by controversies.
“The Commonwealth Games will start in Delhi after about one-and-a-half months. This will be a proud moment for the whole country and especially for Delhi,” Singh said addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
“I am convinced that all our countrymen will treat the Games as a national festival and will leave no stone unturned to make them a success,” he said.
The Prime Minister said a successful Delhi Games would also be a signal that India is rapidly marching ahead.
The PM also said that he was confident price rise would be brought under control and that under his government the agriculture output has grown. The PM said his government has taken steps to uplift the poor.
Admitting that poor people are the worst hit due to rising food prices, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the government is making every effort to control inflation, which has been over 10 per cent for last several months.
“It is the poor who are the worst affected by rising prices, especially when the prices of commodities of every day use like foodgrains, pulses, vegetables increase … We are making every possible effort to tackle the problem …,” Singh said on the 63rd anniversary of Independence Day.
The food inflation was at 11.40 per cent during the week ended July 31, 2010, while the overall inflation was 10.55 per cent in June this year.
It is for this reason that the government has endeavoured to minimise the burden of increased prices on the poor, he said, while exuding confidence that “we will succeed in these efforts.”
Although Singh took pride in offering high support prices to farmers since 2004, he said that this also resulted in increased food prices in the open market.
Dr Manmohan Singh also emphasized his government’s commitment towards minorities. He said, “Protection of minorities is our duty. We will do more for children in minority communities.”
The PM also informed that the government will constitute two separate councils in higher education and health to speed up reforms.

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