Kovind set to take buggy ride to Prez of­fice to­day

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY -

New Delhi: Ram­nath Kovind, the 71-year-old for­mer BJP mem­ber and RSS swayam­se­vak, will take oath as the 14th Pres­i­dent of In­dia at the Cen­tral Hall of Par­lia­ment at 12.15pm on Tues­day.

Chief Jus­tice of In­dia Jus­tice J S Khe­har, will ad­min­is­ter the oath of of­fice, af­ter which Kovind will ex­change the chair with out­go­ing Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukherjee. As is the norm, for the few sec­onds while the ex­change takes place, Jus­tice Khe­har will be deemed the Pres­i­dent of the coun­try.

In­ter­est­ingly, the famed buggy, which was brought out of re­tire­ment for the first time af­ter 1984 by Mukherjee for the Beat­ing Re­treat cer­e­mony in 2014, will have an­other out­ing on Tues­day.

Of­fi­cial sources said Kovind will take a buggy ride from Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van to Par­lia­ment along with Mukherjee. While on their way, Mukherjee will be seated on the left side, with Kovind on his right. The two will ex­change seats while re­turn­ing to Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­vanafter the oath-tak­ing cer­e­mony.

Chief Jus­tice Khe­har, Speaker Su­mi­tra Ma­ha­jan and Vice-Pres­i­dent Hamid An­sari will ac­com­pany Muk- her­jee and Kovind to the Cen­tral Hall af­ter their ar­rival. Soon af­ter as­sum­ing the pres­i­dency, Kovind will ad­dress the au­di­ence, com­pris­ing mem­bers of the two Houses and in­vited dig­ni­taries.

Later, Mukherjee, along with Kovind, will reach his new home, 10 Ra­jaji Marg, where the two will be re- ceived by FMArun Jait­ley.

Mukherjee, say sources, is “look­ing for­ward” to some quiet hours at his new home, where all his be­long­ings have al­ready been moved. The room which has held the max­i­mum in­ter­est for him, said sources, is the li­brary, which has a sub­stan­tial col­lec­tion of Ben­gali lit­er­a­ture. Of­fi­cials added that Mukherjee was leav­ing be­hind all the gifts he re­ceived dur­ing his term.

Mukherjee has also in­sisted on keep­ing things sim­ple, said sources, re­fus­ing to opt for an os­ten­ta­tious ve­hi­cle. For­mer Pres­i­dents are al­lowed a ve­hi­cle with a driver, and fuel. Sources close to Mukherjee con­firmed that he had shown an in­ter­est in an “or­di­nary” car, not the Mercedes he trav­elled in as Pres­i­dent. A Toy­ota Camry has been sug­gested by his of­fice to the MHA, which is over-see­ing the prepa­ra­tions, said of­fi­cials, adding that the min­istry had rec­om­mended a bul­let-proof ve­hi­cle for Mukherjee’s se­cu­rity.


Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee chats with suc­ces­sor Ram Nath Kovind at a book launch in Delhi on Mon­day, a day be­fore the lat­ter as­sumes of­fice

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