President Pranab Mukherjee once again pitched for electoral reforms and simultaneous general elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies during his address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day.
Mukherjee said that in the Indian Republic's journey of 68 years, it is now time to recognise and rectify the imperfections, and called for a "constructive debate" on electoral reforms in this context.
"As our Republic enters her 68th year, we must acknowledge that our systems are not perfect. The imperfections have to be recognised and rectified. The settled complacencies have to be questioned. The edifice of trust has to be strengthened," the President said in his address.
"The time is also ripe for a constructive debate on electoral reforms and a return to the practice of the early decades after independence when elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies were held simultaneously," he added.
Mukherjee said that it is for the Election Commission to take this exercise forward "in consultation with political parties".
These are the other highlights of his speech: