NEW DELHI: Seeking to heal the fractured and contentious politics of the previous years, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the new government at the Centre will work for development in a resurgent India in which corruption will have no place.
The President was addressing the first joint sitting of Parliament as mandatorily required under the Constitution after general elections that brought in the Narendra Modi government last month.
In a word of assurance to minorities, the address said the new government is committed to making all minorities equal partners in India’s progress.
The address is the political, economic and foreign policy road map of the Modi government voted to power and covers virtually all the crucial areas including the need to address the difficult economic situation in which inflation has to be reined in and growth to be reignited.
Mukherjee noted that the just-concluded election has been an election of hope.
“The surge in aspirations and the belief that these could be realized through democratic processes, has been amply reflected in the record 66.4 per cent participation by voters and a clear verdict in favor of a single political party after a gap of nearly 30 years.
“The electorate transcended the boundaries of caste, creed, region and religion to come together and vote decisively in favor of ‘Development through Good Governance’,” he said. Extending warm greetings to the newly-elected MPs, the President told them that they should never forget that they are in Parliament because of them. “Serving them should be our first priority.”
Noting that the general elections were smooth and largely peaceful, he congratulated the Election Commission and the official machinery for successful conduct of the exercise.
“The unprecedented interest shown by the people of India in the elections is a sign of progressive deepening of our vibrant democracy.”
The President said the country needed a strong and stable government that could provide effective leadership.
“In my Republic Day speech earlier this year, I had hoped for 20-14 to be a year of healing after the fractured and contentious politics of the previous years.
“Standing here today, I applaud the wisdom of my fellow citizens for having voted for stability, honesty and development in a resurgent India in which corruption will have no place.”
Mukherjee said his government is committed to nurturing the right environment for actualizing this mandate of the people.
“For this, it pledges itself to the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, which can be fulfilled only through your active participation.
“We will work together to re-establish the credibility of the institutions of democracy. My government will function on the mantra of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’. In all our actions, we will be guided by the core values of our great civilization.
The address said the government is dedicated to the poor as poverty as no religion, hunger has no creed and despair has no geography.
“The greatest challenge before us is to end the curse of poverty in India. My government will not be satisfied with mere “poverty alleviation” and commits itself to the goal of “poverty elimination”.
With a firm belief that the first claim on development belongs to the poor, the President said the government will focus its attention on those who need the basic necessities of life most urgently.
It will take necessary steps to provide security in its entirety to all citizens, through empathy, support and empowerment.
He said containing food inflation will be the topmost priority for the government.
“There would be an emphasis on improving the supply side of various agro and agro-based products.My government will take effective steps to prevent hoarding and black marketing.
It will reform the Public Distribution System, incorporating best practices from the states.
“My government is alert about the possibility of a subnormal monsoon this year and contingency plans are being prepared,” he said.
The President said while India is a federal policy, over the years the federal spirit has been diluted.
Noting that the states and the Centre should function as an organic “Team India”, he said the government will reinvigorate fora like the National Development Council and the Inter-State Council.
“The Centre will be an enabler in the rapid progress of states through “Cooperative Federalism”.–PTI