New Delhi: India’s 14th President Ram Nath Kovind took oath in Parliament’s Central Hall on Tuesday in a ceremony that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all the lawmakers.
Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar administered the oath of office to Kovind.
Once the oath taking was over, Kovind and Mukherjee exchanged seats on the dais after which the new president delivered his maiden speech as president.
A 21-gun salute was also fired in honour of the new president.
Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Devegowda, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, former deputy prime minister L K Advani as well as Union ministers and foreign dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
“I will stand by and represent all 125 crore fellow Indians. I understand the massive responsibility that this is. Former Presidents — from Rajendra Prasad to Pranab Mukherjee — all have been great leaders…. I hope to live up to that greatness,” he said.
President Kovind began the day with a visit to Rajghat, where he paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. He then arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, where he was greeted by President Mukherjee.
The 71-year-old former Governor of Bihar is the second Dalit President after KR Narayanan.
Kovind was born on October 1, 1945, at Kanpur Dehat in Uttar Pradesh. He is a BCom and LLB graduate from Kanpur University.
Ram Nath Kovind was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 1994-2000 and 2000-2006. He is an advocate by profession and practices in Delhi. He was Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017.