Ram Nath Kovind, the country's president-elect, will take the oath of office administered by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar on Tuesday. Kovind will be sworn-in as the 14th President of India.
A low-key lawyer-turned-politician, Kovind was elected on Thursday as the president — the first BJP member and second Dalit to occupy the country's highest office.
The 71-year-old defeated joint Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker, after garnering 65.65 percent of the votes in the electoral college.
The president-elect and the outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee will arrive in the Central Hall of the Parliament House in a ceremonial procession, where Kovind will be administered oath.
File image of Ram Nath Kovind. Reuters
He will then exchange seats with Mukherjee. A 21-gun salute will be given in his honour and the new president will then deliver his address, according to IANS.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union ministers, governors, chief ministers, ambassadors and other diplomats, MPs and senior civil and military officers will be among those present.
After the ceremony ends, the new president will leave for Rashtrapati Bhavan where an inter-services guard of honour will be given to him in its forecourt. Mukherjee will leave for his new address, 10 Rajaji Marg.
Earlier in the day, Kovind will visit Rajghat to pay his respect to Mahatma Gandhi and then go to Rashtrapati Bhavan where he will be received by Mukherjee and then both will proceed to Parliament.
A former Bihar governor, Kovind received 2930 votes with a value of 7,02,044, election Returning Officer Anoop Mishra had said. Kumar got 1844 votes with a value of 3,67,314.
The winning margin was not as big as forecast by the BJP, which had projected a 70 percent vote for Kovind. Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee had received votes valued at 7,13,763.
"I never aspired to be the president. My win is a message to those discharging their duties with integrity. My election as the President is an evidence of the greatness of Indian democracy," Kovind had told the media after his victory was announced.
Kovind's victory is partly due to the BJP's massive victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections earlier this year. This gave the party a big boost in the electoral college numbers, according to PTI.
Even after the Uttar Pradesh victory, the BJP-led NDA was slightly short of majority. However, it was able to garner support of several non-NDA parties such as TRS in Telangana, AIADMK factions and DMK in Tamil Nadu, the JD(U) in Bihar, and BJD in Odisha, after appointing a non-controversial Dalit leader in a political masterstroke.
The party's decision to field a Dalit candidate is also being seen as part of its outreach to woo the backward communities, which several opposition parties found difficult to oppose, given the political sensitivites. This forced the opposition to follow suit and put up Kumar, a diplomat- turned-politician, in a Dalit vs Dalit fight.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jul 25, 2017 01:14 pm
| Updated Date: Jul 25, 2017 01:37 pm