New President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday promised to uphold the values of justice, independence and equality shortly after he was sworn in as 14th President of India, pledging to protect and uphold the Constitution.
Addressing members of Parliament and various dignitaries, including Chief Ministers and diplomatic corps, Kovind said unity in diversity is the strength of India with various religions, culture and traditions forming the basis.
"We are different but we are one and united. These are the traditional values and there is no contradiction or alternative opinion about it," the new President said in a speech in Hindi delivered just after Chief Justice of India J. S. Khehar administered the oath of office to him in a brief but glittering ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament.
"We need to sculpt a high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community and an egalitarian society as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deen Dayal Upadhyay," he said, adding there was need for integrating the values of the old with modern science.
Ram Nath Kovind, a former BJP member and an RSS activist, was on Tuesday sworn in as the 14th President of India.
Chief Justice JS Khehar administered the oath of office to Kovind in the presence of outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament's Central Hall.
Immediately after the oath taking ceremony, Kovind, 71, exchanged the chair with Mukherjee to take over the top constitutional post of India - as the head of the state and supreme commander of the Indian Armed forces.
Ram Nath Kovind sworn in as the 14th President of India pic.twitter.com/ThzEFb3Wteâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) July 25, 2017
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and outgoing Vice President M. Hamid Ansari and MPs were present in the Central Hall.
Kovind, former Bihar Governor, is the second Dalit President of India after K.R. Narayanan.
Earlier in the day, Kovind visited Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi.
Kovind, dressed in a black safari suit, was accompanied by his wife. He paid floral tributes to the Father of the Nation.
The 71-year-old Kovind was also presented a Gandhi memento.