As it happened: Ram Nath Kovind takes oath as 14th president, says diversity is key for India

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As it happened: Ram Nath Kovind takes oath as 14th president, says diversity is key for India
  • 13:37 (IST)

    Kovind now ceremonial owner of 51 percent of all govt PSUs

    The Economic Times in an article stated an interesting fact: Newly sworn-in President Ram Nath Kovind, as the head of government, has now become the ceremonial owner of 51 percent of all central government PSUs worth lakh of crores.

  • 13:17 (IST)

    Very inspiring address by Ram Nath Kovindji: Narendra Modi

  • 12:59 (IST)

    Watch: Ram Nath Kovind gets 21-gun salute at Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • 12:55 (IST)

    How the change of guard at the Rashtrapati Bhavan unfolded

    The elaborate ceremony for change of guard in India's highest Constitutional office started with a gentle knock on the door of President-elect Ram Nath Kovind's Akbar Road residence.

    It was Military Secretary to the President, Major General Anil Khosla, inviting 71-year-old Kovind and his wife Savita to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where President Pranab Mukherjee was waiting for them in the study.

    The two leaders then went to the grand Rashtrapai Bhavan forecourt where they were escorted to the saluting dais.

    Mukherjee took the last salute of the President's Bodyguard (PBG) with President-elect Kovind standing to his left.

    He and his successor then drove down Raisina Hill to the Central Hall of the Parliament in a black limousine. Escorting them was grand equestrian procession by the PBG, dressed in white ceremonial uniforms and blue turbans with gold ornamental work.

    The road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to Parliament was lined with jawans of the armed forces. — PTI

  • 12:51 (IST)

    Ram Nath Kovind gets 21-gun salute at the Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • 12:43 (IST)

    People celebrate in president's village

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    Ram Nath Kovind leaves for his new residence at 10 Rajaji Marg

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    India must carry forward its legacy of Vasudev Kutumbakam: Ram Nath Kovind

    "I am accepting this position with all humility and I am grateful for this responsibility," he further said. "I am aware that I'm carrying forward the legacy of great leaders like Dr Rajendra Prasad," he added.

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.

 As it happened: Ram Nath Kovind takes oath as 14th president, says diversity is key for India

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

Updated Date: Jul 25, 2017 13:37:18 IST

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