Kovind sworn in as 14th president of India

Pyarelal and Vidyavati two persons closest to Kovind say he is divinely blessed

Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday took oath at the 14th President of India, the first BJP leader to occupy the Rashtrapati Bhawan, and said India's unity in diversity was the key to its success. It brings us to the support of other nations, whether by extending the umbrella of the International Solar Alliance, or being first responders following natural disasters. Thereafter, outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee will give him a tour of the official residence - the Rashtrapati Bhavan. "He wanted our people to move forward unitedly in ever-widening thought and action", he had said. Kovind, who became the second Dalit President of India, also stressed on the need of enhancing opportunities for the underprivileged to help mould an egalitarian society.

Samuel Jaykumar, who defends Dalit Christians as a leader with the National Council of Churches in India, told the Catholic news source that he was concerned that Kovind's presidency would make things worse for Dalit Christians and Muslims.

"I thank you for electing me to the responsibility of the President of India, and I enter this office with all humility".

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The historic Central Hall was brimming to capacity and an extra row of chairs had to be placed in the front that had Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda and several other senior leaders. The President should remember this that he is not a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate anymore. He exchanged seats with Pranab Mukherjee and a 21-gun salute followed as the new President Kovind made his first address. Having grown up in the disproportionately Christian state of Kerala in southern India and studied at a church-run school, Narayanan condemned the Hindu nationalists thought to be responsible for violence against Muslims and resisted efforts to shift the secular education system. Among those who attended the ceremony were Union Cabinet Ministers, MPs from the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, Governors and Chief Ministers from most states and Union Territories, such as Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Devendra Fadnavis, Chandrababu Naidu and a host of foreign dignitaries. Right in the beginning of his speech, Kovind recalls his predecessors and says: "I am conscious I am following in the footsteps of stalwarts such as Rajendra Prasad, S. Radhakrishnan and A.P.J". He was also standing counsel in the Supreme Court between 1980 and 1993.

Kovind served as a member of the Board of Management of Dr B R Ambedkar University, Lucknow.

Kovind also represented India in United Nations (New York) and addressed the UN General Assembly in October, 2002. The former Bihar governor managed to secure 65.65 percent of the votes in the Electoral College.

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