Change Of Guard At Rashtrapati Bhavan Began With Knock On Door

Before his oath-taking, President Ram Nath Kovind, accompanied by his wife, paid his respects at Rajghat, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.

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Change Of Guard At Rashtrapati Bhavan Began With Knock On Door

President Ram Nath Kovind inspects an honour guard after being sworn-in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. President Mukherjee was waiting for Mr Kovind at the presidential palace
  2. They then drove down Raisina Hill to the Central Hall of parliament
  3. Mr Kovind was then sworn-in as India's 14th President
The elaborate ceremony to introduce a new tenant at Rashtrapati Bhavan began with a gentle knock on the door of Ram Nath Kovind's residence on Akbar Road on Tuesday morning.

It was Military Secretary to the President, Major General Anil Khosla, formally requesting Mr Kovind and his wife Savita to travel to the presidential palace where President Pranab Mukherjee was waiting for them in the study.

The two leaders then went to the grand Rashtrapati Bhavan Forecourt. President Mukherjee took the last salute of the President's Bodyguard (PBG) with President-elect Kovind standing to his left.

They then drove down Raisina Hill to the Central Hall of parliament in a black limousine. Escorting them was a grand equestrian procession by the PBG, dressed in white ceremonial uniforms and blue turbans.

The road from Rashtrapati Bhavan to parliament was lined with jawans of the armed forces.

Mr Kovind, 71, was then sworn in as President, becoming just the second leader from the oppressed Dalit community to get the job.

A former lawyer and state governor, President Kovind was elected last week with more than 65 per cent of the vote by members of parliament and state assemblies.

Before his oath-taking, President Kovind, accompanied by his wife, paid his respects at Rajghat, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.

"I grew up in a mud house, in a small village. My journey has been a long one, and yet this journey is hardly mine alone. It is so telling of our nation and our society also," President Kovind said after taking the oath of office in parliament.

"For all its problems, it (nation) follows that basic mantra given to us in the preamble of the constitution -- of ensuring justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, and I will always continue to follow this basic mantra."

The 71-year-old was nominated by BJP in a move analysts say will help Prime Minister Narendra Modi tighten his grip on power and gain political capital ahead of his re-election bid in 2019.

The President can send back some parliamentary bills for reconsideration and also plays a guiding role in the process of forming governments.

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