Triple Talaq, NRC, One Nation, One Poll figure in Prez speech in Parliament

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses a joint session of Parliament in the presence of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: PTI

Delivering his first ever address to the joint session of Parliament since the last Lok sabha polls, President Ram Nath Kovind said that the people of India have given a mandate to continue with the country’s development journey that started in 2014.

In his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament in the historic Central Hall on Thursday, he said the government is moving ahead to create a strong, secure and inclusive India.

In his customary address after formation of the 17th Lok Sabha, the President also said that government has started a pension scheme to help farmers and small traders live a life
of dignity.

Congratulating the Election Commission and crores of officials and security personnel involved in holding the general elections, he pointed out that over 61 crore people
voted in the Lok Sabha polls, creating a record.

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He said women came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise. He said a record 78 women have been elected as members of the Lok Sabha — the highest ever and almost half of the elected members are first timers.

“In this election, the people of the country gave a clear mandate. After the assessment of the governments first tenure, the people have given it a bigger mandate this time,” he said.

He said, by doing so, the people have given a mandate to accelerate the development process initiated in 2014.

Kovind said the government has started a pension scheme to help farmers and small traders live a life of dignity.

Congratulating the Election Commission and crores of officials and security personnel involved in holding the general elections, he pointed out that over 61 crore people voted in the Lok Sabha polls, creating a record.

Elaborating on steps being taken in the education sector, he said, “My government is working to increase seats in higher educational institutes by 50 per cent by 2024 and will create 2 crore more seats.”

The President said 26 lakh poor patients have benefitted from the Ayushman Bharat scheme and 1.5 wellness centres are likely to function by 2022. “My government is giving residential, health facilities to poor as poverty can be removed only by empowering them,” he said.

Kovind said creation of the “Jal Shakti” ministry is a step towards water conservation as water crisis may deepen in the future. The President said a new industrial policy will be announced soon and the process to further simplify GST will continue.

He said ₹7.3 lakh crore has been transferred to people under the direct benefit transfer scheme in the last 5 years and over ₹1.41 lakh crore was saved as 8 crore fake beneficiaries were weeded out. “My government will make its policy of zero tolerance towards corruption more expansive and effective,” he said.

Kovind said the government will build a transport system with emphasis on speed, security and environment and will also work to make rivers like Cauvery, Periyar, Mahanadi, Narmada and Godavari pollution free.

(with inputs from agencies.)

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