- President also endorsed PM's initiative for "One Nation, One Election"
- Government aiming to create strong, safe and all-inclusive India, he said
- He also outlined the government's goals over the next five years
President Ram Nath Kovind today endorsed the development efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government as the 17th Lok Sabha started. The government, he said, is "moving ahead to create strong, safe, prosperous and all-inclusive India" and the people "have given a clear mandate to the government to continue the developmental journey that started in 2014". This journey, he said is inspired by the "basic spirit of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas".
President Kovind also outlined the government's goals over the next five years, mentioning not just welfare measures but also social equality, fighting terrorism and the country's space programme.
The traditional address to the joint session of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha took place at parliament's historic Central hall this morning. The 17th Lok Sabha was convened on Monday, after which the new members were elected and BJP lawmaker Om Birla was unanimously elected the new Speaker.
"The people of India have waited for a very long time for even basic facilities to reach them, I am happy to say that my government has now made it a priority to reach out and uplift people from poverty and provide all the basic needs to live with dignity. Rural and urban India, both must progress," he said.
He also endorsed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative for "One Nation, One Election", saying it was "high time" to implement it, as the "continuous cycle of elections affect pace of development". Underscoring the government's other big goal on the social front, he said removing practices like triple talaq and "nikah halala" is essential to give equality to women.
"In 2022, India completes 75 years of Independence, and my government is working at a fast pace to build a New India," the President said.
Over the coming days, the government will announce a new Industrial policy, continue efforts to simplify the Goods and Services Tax, increase seats in institutes of higher education and provide housing and health facilities to the poor, he said.
PM Modi was back with a huge mandate in the recent national elections. From 282 seats in 2014, the BJP won 303 seats, riding the twin themes of national security and development.