President Ram Nath Kovind today stressed the need to address the issue of political violence in Kerala, saying that violence had no place in the Constitution.
"History of debate, mutual dignity and respect for another's point of view has been a hallmark of Kerala society. Nevertheless, there remains the paradox of political violence in Kerala, especially in some regions of the state," the President said, after inaugurating a function to mark the conclusion of the year-long diamond jubilee celebrations of the state assembly.
"This (political violence) is unfortunate and does little justice to the glorious traditions of the state and its people. It is important for all political groups and all enlightened citizens to do their utmost to curb the development of such tendencies," he said.
Freedom to discuss, dissent and disagree should be welcomed in polity, he said. "But violence has no place in our Constitution. It would be appropriate if we could give some thought to this at a Festival of Democracy."
Before the function got underway, President Kovind planted a sapling on the assembly premises to mark his visit.
Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan were among those who spoke at the event. Besides members of the state assembly, legislators from assemblies of other states and Union territories also took part in the programme.