The President's address began at 11 am in the Central Hall of Parliament. President Mukherjee said serving the citizens of India would be the first priority of the Modi-led NDA government, and stressed that the government is committed to the poor. “My government is dedicated to the poor, poverty has no religion, hunger has no creed. My government will not be satisfied with mere poverty alleviation but commits itself to the goal of poverty elimination,”” he said.
The President said India's greatest challenge was to end the curse of poverty in the country, and added that the government would focus on those who were in most need of the basic necessities of life. "Containing food inflation would be the top most priority of the government. My government will take effective steps to prevent hoarding and black marketing. My government is aware of the possibility of a sub normal monsoon this year and contingency plan is being prepared,” the President said.
Mukherjee added that the government will also take steps to curb hoarding and black marketing. "We will not settle for only poverty alleviation, we are aiming for poverty elimination," he said.
Calling the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls an 'Election of Hope', he said, "The electorate transcended the boundaries of caste, creed religion to come together and vote precisely for development through good governance. The country needed a strong and stable government that could provide effective leadership.”
“My government will work to fulfil these aspirations. For these it pledges to its principle 'sabka saath, sabka vikas. We will work to establish the credibility of the institutions of democracy and is committed to minimum government, maximum governance,” he added.
President Mukherjee began by summing up the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, saying the it was a matter of great satisfaction that they were smooth and largely peaceful, and called them an 'Election of Hope'. "A party has got absolute majority after almost 30 years," he said. He congratulated the people on voting for stability and development, and expressed solidarity with the families of all those who lost their lives during the election process.
"My government will function with the mantra of "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance", he said.
The president outlined various issues that would be tackled by the government including the economy and inflation, violence against women, education, infrastructure, defence, and the cleaning up of the River Ganga, one of the key issues taken up by the Modi government.