NEW DELHI, India – Former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee called for action to tackle India's dire poverty as he was sworn in as president Wednesday (July 25th) during an elaborate display of pomp and circumstance, AFP reported.
Mukherjee, 76, arrived for the swearing-in ceremony in a regal cavalcade escorted by horse-mounted bodyguards and was greeted by a military guard of honour lining the route leading to the Parliament building in New Delhi.
After receiving a 21-gun salute, Mukherjee addressed lawmakers and spoke of erasing poverty from the "dictionary of modern India" and striving for equality for all.
Mukherjee also touched on corruption, a thorny issue that has dogged the Congress party government that he served in as finance minister until last month.
Mukherjee, the official Congress party candidate, was elected president on Sunday after winning 69% of the votes cast by national and state lawmakers. He has a cross-party reputation as a skilled negotiator.
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