A record 17000 farmers committed suicide in India in last year when India’s first woman president Pratibha Patil was flying around the world in her chartered aircraft, Boeing 747-400, with 100 people including family members, friends, butlers and cooks. I think it is shame for Indian democracy to allow such a reckless waste of money. At a time when the Indian Government is preaching austerity, the President, the head of the state, seems to be flying in a completely different direction and busy with her joy ride. I wonder how many of these trips were actually needed and what was the need for family members on these so called official trips. Can you remember one significant bilateral policy decision that president Patil was involved in 22 foreign trips she made? My question is why do we need a President as the head of the state? Do you know what is cost of having a rubber stamp president as the head of the state?
India’s President foreign tours have cost the public exchequer Rs 205 crore. Since July 2007, she has undertaken 12 foreign trips covering 22 countries including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Bhutan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Spain, Poland, Russia, Tajikistan, the UK, Cyprus, China, Laos, Cambodia, the UAE, Syria, Mauritius, South Korea, Switzerland and Austria.
She has spent a total of 79 days abroad. She has four more months left to complete her five year term and in this period she has to pay visit to South Africa. As compared to her predecessors, she has visited more countries and spend the record number of days abroad.
We have more than 80% of our population living on a daily wages of Rs.20 per day and where the below poverty line status is around Rs.22 in rural and Rs.28 in urban areas. Frankly speaking, we do not deserve such ostentatious display of wealth. I think the time has come to abolish the posts of President and Governors. We cannot afford these rubber stamps.