NEW DELHI: Droupadi Murmu on Monday took oath as the 15th President of India.
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana administered the oath of office of the President to her in the Central Hall of Parliament.
The 64-year-old defeated opposition presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha to become the first tribal and the second woman to hold the top constitutional post.
Outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind and Murmu arrived in parliament in a ceremonial procession ahead of the oath ceremony. Murmu was escorted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to the Central Hall.
Members of the Council of Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers, heads of diplomatic missions, Members of Parliament and principal civil and military officers of the government were also present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Ahead of the oath ceremony, Murmu visited the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, and paid her respects to the Father of the Nation. She then met outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind and first lady Savita Kovind.
After the oath ceremony, the President will leave for Rashtrapati Bhavan, where an inter-services guard of honour will be given to her in the forecourt and courtesies will be extended to the outgoing President Kovind.
The oath ceremony will be followed by a 21-gun salute.
On July 22, the NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu was officially declared as the 15th President of the country after the conclusion of the counting of votes.
Murmu received 2,824 votes with a value of 6,76,803 while her opponent Sinha secured 1,877 votes with a value of 3,80,177. A total of 4,809 MPs and MLAs cast their votes in the polling that took place on July 18.
Secretary General of Rajya Sabha and the Returning Officer for Presidential Election 2022, PC Mody handed over the certificate to President-elect Droupadi Murmu at her residence in Delhi.
Wishes poured in from the political fraternity across party lines on the victory of Murmu .
The President of India is the head of state in India. He/She is considered the first citizen of the country, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers.
According to article 60 of the constitution, the primary duty of the President of India is to uphold, defend, and preserve the Indian constitution and the law. The president appoints the Chief Justice of India and other judges on the advice of the chief justice.
The President of India is elected by the elected representatives of the parliament and the state legislature.
The electoral college elects the President of India and the representation of its members is proportionate. The term of the President of India is of 5 years and no law can be implemented in India without the President’s signature.
Born in a Santali tribal family on June 30, 1958, in Uparbeda village coming under Mayurbhanj district in Odisha, she had her education from Bhubaneswar and went on to work first as a junior assistant in the State Irrigation and Power Department from 1979 to 1983.
After this short stint as a clerk, she became a teacher at Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre at Rairangpur till 1997.
Murmu commenced her journey in the field of politics in 1997 by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
She was first elected as the councillor of the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat and then went on to become the chairperson of the same panchayat in 2000. Later, she also served as the national vice president of the BJP Scheduled Tribe Morcha.
Murmu became a member of the council of ministers in the BJP and Biju Janata Dal coalition government in Odisha, first becoming the minister of state with independent charge for commerce and transportation from March 2000 to August 2022 and then minister for fisheries and animal resources development from August 2002 to May 2004.
A legislator from the Rairangpur assembly constituency in the years 2000 and 2004, she was conferred Nilkhantha Award for the best MLA by the Odisha assembly in 2007.
In 2015, Murmu became the first woman governor of Jharkhand. She also became the first woman tribal leader from Odisha to be appointed as the governor of a state.
Reports earlier claimed that Murmu was shortlisted for the top position in 2017 as well.
She herself acknowledged it when the BJP leadership announced her candidature this time.
However, during her political journey, she faced several lows in her life. Her husband Shyam Charan Murmu, passed away in 2014. She also lost both of her sons all in a span of just four years.
Murmu devoted her life to serving society, empowering poor, downtrodden and marginalized sections of society. She has rich administrative experience and an outstanding gubernatorial tenure in Jharkhand. Murmu has made a special identity in public life by spreading awareness about education in tribal society and serving the public for a long time as a public representative.
Outgoing President Ram Nath Kovind on July 24 hosted dinner for President-elect Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union council of ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.
President Kovind was sworn in as the 14th President of India on July 25, 2017, for a five-year term. (ANI)