New Delhi: Newly-elected President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday pledged to rise above partisan interests in the service of the people in his first speech after his swearing-in as the 13th President of the country.
Addressing an august gathering at the Central Hall of Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee said, “I am deeply moved by the high honour bestowed on me by the people of India. As the President of India, it is my duty to protect, preserve and guard the sovereignty of the nation and its Constitution.”
“President’s function is to guard the Constitution and I would strive to preserve, protect and guard the Constitution not just in spirit but all across the divide of party and region,” he added.
Amid several round of applauses, Pranab said, “I will stay impartial during the discharge of my duties as President and ensure that even the poorest of the poor feel that they are part of this great nation.”
Recalling his humble beginning in his native state West Bengal’s Birbhum district, Pranab said, "Trickle down theories doesn’t address legitimate aspirations of the poor. We must erase poverty from the dictionary of modern India."
Praising the armed forces of the country, Pranab said, "I am proud of the valour, conviction and steely determination of our armed forces and brave police forces."
Earlier, Pranab took oath as India`s 13th President at an impressive ceremony full of pomp and pageantry in the Central Hall of Parliament.
Mukherjee was administered the oath of office and secrecy by the Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia.
Mukherjee, who won the July 19 presidential poll, takes over from Pratibha Patil and will be the new occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Ahead of taking oath, Pranab paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi by visiting their memorial.
Dressed in a formal black achkan and churidar, Mukherjee visited Rajghat, Shanti Van as well as Shakti Sthal and Veer Bhumi.