New Delhi: The people of India have given a mandate to continue with the country's development journey that started in 2014, President Ram Nath Kovind said Thursday.
In his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament in the historic Central Hall, he said government is moving ahead to create a strong, secure and inclusive India.
In his customary address after formation of the 17th Lok Sabha, the President also said that government has started a pension scheme to help farmers and small traders live a life of dignity.
Congratulating the Election Commission and crores of officials and security personnel involved in holding the general elections, he pointed out that over 61 crore people voted in the Lok Sabha polls, creating a record.
He said women came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
He said a record 78 women have been elected as members of the Lok Sabha -- the highest ever and almost half of the elected members are first timers.
"In this election, the people of the country gave a clear mandate. After the assessment of the government's first tenure, the people have given it a bigger mandate this time," he said.
He said, by doing so, the people have given a mandate to accelerate the development process initiated in 2014.