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Pranab Mukherjee Sworn-in As 13th President

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Pranab Mukherjee was sworn in as the country's 13th President on 24 July' 2012,  at an impressive ceremony in the packed and historic Central Hall of Parliament.

Chief Justice of India S H 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.

Dressed in a black achkan (longcoat) and white churidar (trousers), Mukherjee took the oath of office in the name of God in English to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law".

Mukherjee was then given a 21-gun salute after which he signed the oath register amid a thunderous applause and thumping of desks.

The oath taking ceremony, marked by pomp and grandeur, began with the arrival of outgoing President Pratibha Patil and President-elect Mukherjee in a procession from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the Parliament Building. They were greeted by Kapadia, Ansari and Kumar who escorted them to the Central Hall.

After the short ceremony, Mukherjee and Patil were escorted out of the Central Hall amid the roll of drums and blowing of trumpets.

Before the function in Parliament, the outgoing President and the President-elect, wearing a black achkan, churidar (long coat, pyjama), drove a small distance in the bullet-proof Presidential limousine from the North Court to the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Patil received the last guard of honour from the horse mounted Presidential Body Guards (PBG) and then the two drove down the Raisina Hill to nearby Parliament House in a procession accompanied by the PBG.

At the Parliament House, they were received by the Vice President, Lok Sabha Speaker and the CJI. A guard of honour was presented after which they were ushered in to the Central Hall.

At the Central Hall, Home Secretary R K Singh read out the Election Commission notification announcing the election of Mukherjee to the highest Constitutional office.

Once the oath taking was over, Mukherjee and Patil exchanged seats on the dais in the Central Hall after which the new President made his speech.

After the function was over, Mukherjee and Patil were escorted out in a procession and the new President was again given a guard of honour by the PBG.

As Mukherjee walked through the aisle in the Central Hall, he received greetings all along from those assembled.

He shook hands with the Prime Minister and towards the tail-end of the Hall smiles were exchanged between him and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Mukherjee and Patil then again went in a ceremonial procession to the Rashtrapati Bhavan for another round of guard of honour.

He later escorted the outgoing President to 2, Tughlak Lane, her temporary home till she moves to her residence in Pune.

(PTI)