NEW DELHI: Quoting Kerala’s icon Guru Narayan Guru, President Ram Nath Kovind spelt out the NDA government’s inclusive agenda while stressing that empowering every person in the country was the main goal of the government in his customary address to the joint session of Parliament.He also called upon the MPs to seriously consider the issue of one nation, one election, terming it a development oriented proposal.
The President emphasised that it was imperative for gender equality that social evils like the practice of triple talaq and ‘nikah halala’ be weeded out. The Rafale fighter jet also found mention in his speech, with Kovind stating that the acquisition of the crucial defence asset would give a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative.
In a significant remark reflecting the poll commitment of the BJP, the President stated that the government has decided to implement National Register of Citizens (NRC) in areas affected by illegal infiltration which, he said, poses a “major threat to our internal security” and is “leading to social imbalance in many parts of the country, as well as putting a huge pressure on limited livelihood opportunities”
The President stressed that the government is also fully committed to protecting victims of persecution due to their faith. “In this regard, efforts will be made to amend the Citizenship Act while protecting the linguistic, cultural and social identities,” he added. He also referred to a slew of decisions taken in the “first 21 days” for the welfare of farmers, soldiers, students, entrepreneurs and women.
“Livestock is invaluable for farmers. They have to spend a lot of money for treatment of cattle-related diseases. To reduce this expenditure, my government has decided to start a special scheme with an allocation of `13,000 crore,” he said.
Kovind also listed out the measure taken for the economic security of small shopkeepers. A separate pension scheme has been approved that will benefit about 3 crore small shopkeepers and retail traders he said.
On measures to face the “biggest challenges of the 21st century” in the face of growing water crisis, Kovind said a similar resolve as seen for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan will be shown in water conservation and management.
Prez: National security govt’s top priority
President Ram Nath Kovind’s address outlined the government’s efforts to strengthen national security and its commitment to fighting terror.“Today the whole world stands with India on the issue of terrorism. Designation of Masood Azhar...as a global terrorist by UN, is a testimony to this fact,” said Kovind.
“New India will be sensitive and also, economically prosperous. But for this to happen, nation’s security is of utmost importance. My government accords topmost priority to national security...effective steps are being taken to tackle terrorism and naxalism,” he said.India has demonstrated her intent and capabilities through surgical strikes and airstrikes...In future, too, all steps will be taken to ensure security, he said.
Prime Minister hosts dinner for MPs, Congress marks presence
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a dinner for MPs on Thursday evening, a day after he held an all-party meeting on the ‘one nation, one election’ issue. While the Congress had skipped the all-party meeting, it attended the dinner at the state-run Ashoka Hotel. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdury had earlier told reporters that his party would be attending the dinner meeting.