Pranab Mukherjee sworn in as India’s 13th president (Lead)

July 25th, 2012 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) Pranab Mukherjee was sworn in as India’s president at a function replete with traditional grandeur and ceremony at the Central Hall of Parliament here Wednesday.

Mukherjee was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia at 11.28 a.m.

In a ceremony lasting about 30 minutes, Mukherjee became India’s 13th president - taking over from Pratibha Patil as the new occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mukherjee, who till June 28 was India’s finance minister, entered Parliament House as president-elect around 11.20 a.m., standing behind Pratibha Patil as she took the final guard of honour from the President’s Bodyguards. And when he exited the impressive domed structure a short while later, their places had been switched as Mukherjee took his first salute as the president of India.

In his oath as president, Mukherjee swore to devote himself to the service and well being of the people of India.

Attired in a black sherwani and churidar, President Mukherjee in his first speech said he would in keeping with his high office strive to rise above partisan interests in the service of the people.

Saying he was deeply moved by the high honour bestowed on him, Mukherjee said as the president he would strive to preserve, protect and guard the constitution “not just in spirit but all across the divide of party and region”.

“I have seen perhaps unbelievable changes during the journey that has brought me from the flicker of a lamp in a small Bengal village to the chandeliers of Delhi,” he said, recalling his youth in Mirati village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.

Stating that he had still not forgotten the famine of Bengal as a boy, Mukherkee said, “There is no humiliation more abusive than hunger”.

Earlier, ahead of his swearing in, he paid tributes at the mausoleums of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

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