Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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Ram Nath Kovind takes over as 14th President, says diversity key to successPresident Ram Nath Kovind waves as he arrives in a traditional horse-driven carriage at the President house after being sworn in. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Ram Nath Kovind takes over as 14th President, says diversity key to success

25 Jul 2017 | 9:27 PM

NEW DELHI: It was a special day for the country and Ram Nath Kovind, who was on Tuesday sworn in as the 14th President by Chief Justice of India JS Kehar. He emphasised that the key to India's success was its diversity. (Watch video inside)

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Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25

It was a special day for the country and Ram Nath Kovind, who was on Tuesday sworn in as the 14th President by Chief Justice of India JS Kehar.   

"Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique.In this land we find a mix of states and regions, religions, languages, cultures, lifestyles and much more. We are so different and yet so similar and united," he said in his acceptance speech after taking oath of office in the Central Hall of Parliament.

The ceremony began with President-elect Kovind proceeding to the Rashtrapati Bhawan from his temporary residence, 10 Akbar Road.

The outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee has moved to 10 Rajaji Marg.

Kovind reached the Rashtrapati Bhawan where he was welcomed by President Mukherjee. Before proceeding to the Parliament House for the formal oath-taking ceremony, Mukherjee and Kovind were accorded the Guard of Honour by the President’s Bodyguard.  

Mukherjee and Kovind proceeded for the Parliament House in the special limousine, riding down the Raisina Hill, accompanied by elite cavalry regiment of the Army.

Earlier it was expected that Mukherjee would prefer to take the last ride in the traditional horse buggy (carriage), the use of which he revived as recently as the 2014 Beating Retreat ceremony.

Among the many social initiatives he took during his tenure, Mukherjee also transformed the Rashtrapati Bhawan into ‘Lok Bhawan’, as also pointed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Increasing the access of the palatial building to the people, his tenure was marked by a people-friendly, a more interactive approach, including the use of social media.

With his RSS upbringing, Kovind, they say, will upkeep all those initiatives along with following a lifestyle that is “as simple as possible”.  

At the Parliament House, Mukherjee was given the Guard of Honour and he took his last salute as the President. He and Kovind, the second Dalit leader to assume the top office, were then escorted to the Central Hall of Parliament by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Chief Justice Kehar and other top dignitaries who then escorted them to the Central Hall of Parliament.

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Mukhrejee’s arrival was announced as “mahamahim Rahtrapati” and he took his place in the centre of the dais with Kovind, Ansari, Mahajan, Kehar. The Election Commission notice was read out and at precisely 12.15 pm Kovind was administered the oath as the 14th President by Kehar.

Former president Pratibha Patil and former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda were present at the ceremony that was attended by all top political leaders from the ruling party and the Opposition, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

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