New Delhi: Ram Nath Kovind today became the 14th President of the country, taking oath of office at a simple but impressive ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament here.
Kovind, the second Dalit President after K.R. Narayanan, was administered oath by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar.
The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari, senior members of the Cabinet, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda, veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and leaders of other parties, MPs and other distinguished people from different walks of life.
As Kovind was sworn in, he was given 21-gun salute. Earlier, Kovind along with outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee arrived in the Central Hall of Parliament in a ceremonial procession from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Kovind was elected as the President on July 20 after a keen contest with Joint Opposition candidate Meira Kumar. Polling over 65 per cent votes in electoral college, Kovind defeated Meira Kumar by over 33,000 votes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being sworn in as the President.
“Very inspiring address by President Kovind, which beautifully summed up the essence of India’s strengths, democracy & diversity,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
“Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji on taking oath as the President of India,” the Prime Minister said.