New Delhi: Ram Nath Kovind swore in as the 14th President of India on Tuesday at Rashtrapati Bhawan in a glittering ceremony.
Kovind was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar. He exchanged seats with Pranab Mukherjee and a 21-gun salute followed as the new President Kovind made his first address.
Ram Nath Kovind then addressed the gathering at Central as President of India, “I am accepting this position with all humility and I am grateful for this responsibility. I feel privileged to walk on the same path as Dr. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Abdul Kalam and Pranab da”.
“My journey from a small village to President’s House has been long but interesting. A nation grows only when development for all is ensured. Ham sab ek hain aur ek hi rahenge,” he said to applause.
Kovind arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt escorted by the Military Secretary to the President. Pranab Mukherjee had also taken Kovind on a tour of the official residence.
In view of the ceremonial functions, the outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee along with Kovind proceeded to the Parliament in a six-horse carriage. Army, Navy and Air Force personnel flanked the Raisina Hill road.
Ramnath Kovind’s family members, associates and close friends arrived for the swearing-in at Parliament House. Earlier in the day, Kovind reached Rajghat and paid tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi along with wife Savita.
The ceremony began at 12.15 PM in the Central Hall of Parliament.
At the Parliament, both were received by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
The dais at the central hall was shared by President and President-elect, Speaker, Vice President and Chief Justice of India.
After the event, outgoing President Mukherjee will proceed to his new residence – 10, Rajaji Marg.
Kovind was elected the President last Thursday as a ruling NDA candidate. He defeated the Opposition parties’ nominee Meira Kumar by a huge margin.
Ram Nath Kovind, who served as the 35th Governor of Bihar was born on October 1, 1945 in Paraukh village in the Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh. Kovind did his graduation in law from a Kanpur college.
Before start his career as a lawyer, Kovind cleared the civil services examination but did not join as he was selected for an allied. Mr Kovind joined the BJP in 1991. He was President of the BJP Dalit Morcha between 1998 and 2002. He also served as Member of Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006.