NEW DELHI: The 71-years-old Ram Nath Kovind who was former Governor of Bihar on Tuesday took oath as the 14th President of India in the Central Hall of Parliament. Kovind was administered the oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the constitution and law” by Chief Justice of India J S Kehar.
“I am thankful to all for giving me the responsibility to be the President of India,” the new President Kovind said while he was addressing. “I come from a humble background. The journey has been long. I accept this post with humility.”
The new president of India took oath in Hindi in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee and former president Pratibha Patil.
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 during the oath ceremony. After he took oath, Kovind was given a 21-gun salute to mark the assumption of office of the highest.
71-year-old leader born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, had also earned the support of the JD(U), which broke ranks with the “mahagathbandhan” because of his non-confrontational approach as governor of the state.
A commerce graduate, Kovind studied law at the Kanpur University, practised in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court. He was also the central government’s standing counsel in the apex court from 1980-93.
Kovind, who headed Dalit Morcha from 1998 to 2002, also led the All-India Koli Samaj. Elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 1994 from Uttar Pradesh, he served two consecutive terms till March 2006.