Debate over smaller states legitimate: President

New Delhi: As discussion over Telangana peaks, President Pranab Mukherjee todays said passions are rising whether there should be smaller states but the debate should conform to democratic norms.

“A democratic nation is always involved in argument with itself. This is welcome, for we solve problems through discussion and consent, not force,” he said in his address on the eve of 65th Republic Day.

However, he said, healthy differences of opinion must not lead to an unhealthy strife within the polity.

“Passions are rising over whether we should have smaller states to extend equitable development to all parts of a state.

“A debate is legitimate but it should conform to democratic norms. The politics of divide and rule has extracted a heavy price on our subcontinent. If we do not work together, nothing ever will work,” he said.