President Ram Nath Kovind Loves Reading; All You Need to Know

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

Before taking the oath of office as 14th President of India, President elect Ram Nath Kovind paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.

In his maiden speech as the President of India, Ram NathKovind said the key to India's success is its diversity that makes its people unique.

After Justice Khehar administered the oath of office to "preserve, protect and defend the constitution and law", Kovind exchanged seats with Mukherjee.

When he was a party leader back in 2010, Kovind had remarked that "Islam and Christianity are alien to India" and said that they do not deserve the benefits and quotas assured to others from lowest castes, officially designated as "Scheduled Castes".

Calling each citizen a nation-builder, he said, "Nations are not built by governments alone". This links us to our global family, our friends and partners overseas, and our diaspora, that contributes in so many ways across the world. I have been a Member of Parliament and here, in this very Central Hall, have had discussions with many of you. "Amid agreements and disagreements we learnt to respect each others' views and this is the beauty of Democracy", Kovind asserted.

In a Facebook Post, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Mukherjee was "completely non-partisan" as president and "conducted himself as an adviser and a guide to his governments".

At the Parliament House, Mukherjee was given the Guard of Honour and he took his last salute as the President.

The dais at the central hall will be shared by President and President-elect, Speaker, Vice President and Chief Justice of India.

Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress party is seeking to impact upon the great stature of Nehru, by insisting that his name should be taken in every speech.

A former lawyer and governor of Bihar, Kovind won the presidency after defeating Opposition's Meira Kumar, garnering more than 65 per cent of the vote of lawmakers of Parliament and state assemblies.

In his farewell speech to the nation before resigning from the president's office, Kovind's predecessor Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday "the soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance". He served for two consecutive terms of six years each till March 2006.

He represented India in the United Nations in NY and addressed United Nations General Assembly in October, 2002, reported The Hindu.

Kovind also served on the board of management of the Dr B R Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and as a member of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

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