New Delhi, Jun 20 (GCCurrentAffairs) President Ram Nath Kovind’s maiden speech enunciating the new programmes and policies of the Modi government after the recent polls on Thursday came in for appreciation by the members both from the ruling side and opposition benches.
At times even Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad were seen thumping the desks – obviously much to the delight of the treasury bench.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah were among the front bench members who greeted President’s address with frequent thumping of desks.
In fact, Ms Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad were seen thumping the desks when the President made mention about the ‘Pension Scheme’ under National Defence Fund.
The President said: “It is our duty to secure the future of children of those who guard the border, and ensure peace and security for everyone. Inspired by this sentiment, the amount of scholarship under the ‘National Defence Fund’ has been increased for the children of our brave soldiers”.
“For the first time, sons and daughters of the State police personnel have also been included in this scholarship,” Mr Kovind said.
Mr Azad was seen thumping his desk on other occasions also.
In his address, President also maintained that the good performance of the Modi government has given it an enhanced mandate in the recently conducted elections.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi was seen sitting next to mother Sonia Gandhi and both were often seen chatting.
Another Congress leader who stole limelight and was seen being congratulated by members was newly appointed Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
A beaming Chowdhury was seen interacting with leaders cutting across party lines and was occasionally embraced by his colleagues too.
Earlier before the arrival of President and the beginning of the speech, NCP leader Sharad Pawar was among the early comers among the senior parliamentarians.
Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Dr S Jaishankar were also among those who arrived at the historic Central Hall well in advance.
External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar clad in white half shirt looked relaxed but was definitely in serious postures as he interacted with senior parliamentarians and ministerial colleagues including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Mr Pawar was seen interacting with BJP lawmakers Satya Pal Singh and S S Ahluwalia. He also exchanged pleasantries with DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran.
Among others the Joint sitting of Parliament was also attended by BJP’s celebrity MPs Sunny Deol from Punjab and Locket Chatterjee in West Bengal.
Cricketer-turned-lawmaker and East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir was also present