Winter session washout has no mention in President''s address

New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) The longest shutdown of Parliamentduring the winter session on the telecom issue had no mentionin President Pratibha Patil''s address today.

But, the issue appeared to have weighed heavily on hermind as, while welcoming MPs to the first sitting of the newdecade, she hoped this will be a "very productive and useful"session.

The last session had been a complete washout over thedemand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum scam that led to adeadlock between the government and the opposition.

The only reference to the telecom sector during theaddress was to its expansion to almost 800 millionconnections.

"The wireless network is the second largest in the world.

My government is now making concerted efforts to take mobileand broadband services to the rural areas," she said.

While the address made no mention to the JPC demand, thePresident said her government stood committed to improving thequality of governance and enhancing transparency, probity andintegrity in public life.

"Our citizens deserve good governance. It is theirentitlement and our obligation," Patil said in her speech,whose highlight was her assurance that the government stoodcommitted to tackling the black money menace "frontally".

On the conduct of Commonwealth Games, whose preparationshave led to lot of controversy, the President said the eventwas a "great success".

"Our sportspersons secured an unprecedented medal tally.

The citizens of Delhi displayed exemplary discipline andcourtesy. We are proud of these achievements," she said.

Seeking to send a signal that protests beyond a pointprove counter-productive, she said, "We are blessed with thebenefits of democracy. Our founding fathers gave usinstitutions, conventions and practices that have stood us ingood stead."

"We owe it to ourselves and to the coming generations tostrengthen these institutions, conventions and practices sothat our future as a strong, free, prosperous and democraticnation is assured," the President said.

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