The Congress on Thursday described President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech in Parliament as “hollow” and “uninspiring”.

Addressing the media, party leader Anand Sharma and Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Kovind’s address to the joint session of Parliament was just a repetition of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech.

“The President’s address was just a repetition of Modi’s speech. He has missed major points like unemployment and GDP downfall,” Sharma said.

He took a dig at Kovind for supporting the ‘one nation, one election’ concept and said that simultaneous elections were not feasible due to the country’s diversity.

During his address, President Kovind made a strong pitch for simultaneous polls and outlined the new Modi government’s roadmap, saying it was determined to crush terrorism and Maoism.

The President’s remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over an all-party meeting to pitch for simultaneous parliamentary and state Assembly elections — an issue that has divided political parties.

Read | ‘Clear mandate in polls’, says President in joint Parliament session, calls for removal of triple talaq

In his opening address, President Kovind said the public has given a clear mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections adding that his government was working for ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.

The President spoke on water crisis and the constitution of Jal Shakti Ministry to tackle the issue.

On extending benefits to farmers, Kovind said the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme will be extended to every farmer in the country.

He further said work was underway on a large scale to develop the 112 ‘aspirational districts’ of the country.

Further speaking on social issues, President Kovind called for the removal of practices like ‘Triple Talaq’ and Nikah-Halala’ to ensure equal rights for women.

He also urged the government to ensure stringent punishment for crimes against women and said the new Modi government’s main objective was to build a secure nation.

The Parliament session will continue till July 26. The Economic Survey will be presented on July 4 followed by the Union Budget for 2019- 20 on July 5.

(With agency inputs)