President-elect Pranab Mukherjee took oath as the 13th President of India at 11.30 a.m. IST, July 25, in the Central Hall of the Parliament at New Delhi. He was sworn in by the Chief Justice of India, Justice S.H. Kapadia.
The colourful swearing-in ceremony was attended by members of the ruling Government and Opposition parties, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA leader Sonia Gandhi, Cabinet Ministers and former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
After the swearing in and the signing of the register, Mukherjee exchanged seats with the incumbent President Pratibha Patil amid a 21-gun salute.
Addressing the nation, President Pranab assured to defend the constitution and alleviate poverty. Citing hunger as the biggest humiliation, he proposed to initiate steps that will make the poorest feel a part of rising India.
Vice President Hamid Ansari also addressed the gathering on the occasion. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and former president Patil shared the dais with Mukherjee as he took office Wednesday.
After delivering the acceptance speech, the President is expected to leave for Rashtrapati Bhavan where an inter-services guard of honour will be extended to him in the forecourt and courtesies will be extended to Pratibha Patil as well.
The President is expected to create a distinct impact on India's political future in 2014, the year of general elections in the country, which are strongly anticipated to yield a hung parliament. The President will then be instrumental in deciding which party should come to power.