President Ram Nath Kovind terms simultaneous polls ‘development oriented’

President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in the Central Hall of Parliament on June 20, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@loksabhatv  

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday asked the Members of Parliament to seriously ponder over the proposal of simultaneous polls, terming it “development oriented”. In his address to both Houses of Parliament, he stated that the people of the country had “demonstrated their wisdom by delivering a clear verdict” in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

In the hour-long address, President Kovind also flagged the government’s move to push forward with the triple talaq Bill in this session, its decision to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on a priority basis and strong response to terror after the attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14 last.


“‘One nation simultaneous election’ is the need of the hour, which would facilitate accelerated development, thereby benefiting our countrymen. With such a system in place, all political parties, according to their respective ideologies, will be able to better utilise their energy towards development and public welfare,” he said.

The government had taken steps to curb infiltration by deciding to implement the NRC, currently being updated in Assam, on a priority basis in areas affected by infiltration. While the government was working to identify infiltrators, it was also fully committed to protecting those who were victims of persecution due to their faith in neighbouring countries, via the Citizenship Act, but that it would be amended to protect linguistic, cultural and social identities, he said.

The amendments to the Act were necessitated by huge protests in the Northeast, particularly in Assam, early this year.

Tough on terror

President Kovind commended the government for acting tough on terror after the Pulwama attack. “India has amply demonstrated both her intent and capabilities, first through surgical strikes and then through air strikes after Pulwama on terrorists hideouts across the border. In future too, all possible steps will be taken to ensure our security,” he said. The “whole world stands with India on the issue of terrorism, the designation of Masood Azhar, responsible for the dastardly terrorist attacks on our soil, as a global terrorist by the United Nations is a major testimony to this fact.”

UPA leader Sonia Gandhi was seen thumping her desk when the Balakot air strikes after Pulwama was mentioned by the President.

Mr. Kovind said India would host a G-20 summit in 2022, a sign of its “new image”.

Triple talaq and gender justice

The “eradication of social evils like triple talaq and nikah halala” was imperative and all members should cooperate in such efforts. The Union Cabinet had cleared a fresh bill on triple talaq and is expected to table it in this session of Parliament.

The President concluded his remarks by referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s talisman as a guiding principle for all MPs. “My advice to all MPs is that you should always remember the fundamental ‘mantra’ of Gandhiji. He had said that every decision of ours should be guided by its impact on the poorest and weakest person in society,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 8:59:29 AM |

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