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Pranab Mukherjee takes Guard as President of India

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TNI Bureau: Pranab Mukherjee was sworn-in as the country’s 13th President – the head of the state- on Wednesday in a grand ceremony at the historic Central Hall of Parliament.

The hall was packed with all the Union Ministers and top leaders. Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia administered the oath of office to Mukherjee in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union  Ministers, Governors and a host of dignitaries

In his first speech, Pranab vowed to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India. “I will strive to preserve, protect and defend our constitution not just in words but also in spirit,” he said.

Talking on the initiatives for poverty eradication, he said, “Trickle down theories do not address legitimate aspirations of the poor. We must erase poverty from the dictionary of modern India.”

Applauding the defence forces of India, Pranab said, “I am proud of the valour, conviction and steely determination of our armed forces and brave police forces.”

Dressed in a black achkan (longcoat) and white churidar (trousers) attire, he was given a 21-gun salute after taking the oath as the President.

Before reaching the Parliament, the President-elect Pranab had visited Rajghat to pay his respects before he takes oath as the 13th President of India at the Central Hall of Parliament. Later, he paid respects to Rajiv Gandhi at Veer Bhumi.

Pranab Mukherjee paid his respects to Indira Gandhi at Shakti Sthal and later headed to meet outgoing President Pratibha Patil.

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