Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday became the 13th President of India capping a five-decade career that saw him play significant roles in government, Parliament and party.
76-year-old Mukherjee was administered the oath of office to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and law’ by Chief Justice of India Sarosh Homi Kapadia at an impressive ceremony in the historic Central Hall of Parliament.
The veteran leader took the oath in English in the name of God to a thunderous applause and thumping of desks by those in the packed Central Hall that included Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and outgoing President Pratibha Patil.
The gathering also included Cabinet ministers, leaders of opposition, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, governors, chief ministers, MPs and diplomats.
Just after he took oath, he was offered a 21 gun salute marking the assumption of office of the highest Constitutional post in the country.