NEW DELHI, Jan 29 - President Ram Nath Kovind today strongly pitched for simultaneous elections to Parliament and the state assemblies, saying frequent polls posed a �huge burden� on resources and impeded the development process.
Delivering his maiden address to the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, he referred to several initiatives taken by the government for the benefit of the people, including projects to provide housing, uninterrupted power supply and LPG connections to the poor.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union ministers, BJP president Amit Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi were among those present in the Central Hall when Kovind delivered his first speech as the President.
Observing that the people were concerned about frequent elections in one part of the country or another, Kovind said regular polls �adversely impact the economy and development�.
�Frequent elections not only impose a huge burden on human resources but also impede the development process due to the promulgation of the model code of conduct,� he said.
The President said �a sustained debate is required on the subject of simultaneous elections and all political parties need to arrive at a consensus on this issue.�
His remarks came days after the Prime Minister made a strong pitch for holding the polls together.