R-Day speech: President Pranab Mukherjee hails Indians for electing a stable government

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New Delhi, Jan 25: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday addressed the nation on the eve of the 66th Republic Day, saying while 2014 was a significant year, 2015 is a year of hope. [Read President Pranab Mukherjee's full Republic Day speech]

President Mukherjee, who was addressing his second Republic Day speech, praised the people of India for the results of last year's Lok Sabha election, saying the people elected a single party after three decades for a stable government which is free from the compulsion of coalition politics. [Follow updates of the visit of US President Barack Obama, the chief guest at the 66th Republic Day]

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It may be mentioned here that the president had expressed apprehension about coalition politics dominating India in his Republic Day speech made last year, three months ahead of the general polls.

Mukherjee appealed to the people to vote for a "clean, efficient, gender-sensitive, transparent & citizen-friendly governance". He said: "The outcome of elections has given mandate to elected government to fulfill commitment to people."

The president stressed that the nation's interest is to raise the quality of life of Indians by a big extent and also focussed the issue of women's security during his speech. "Only a nation that respects & empowers its women can become a global power," he said.

Mukherjee rued that Mother India is not respected by her own children when it comes to women's safety.

The septuagenarian leader remembered Mahatma Gandhi during his speech. Quoting the latter, he said religion is a force for unity and could not be allowed to be a reason for conflict.

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