It`s now over to Madam President. Pratibha Patil made history by becoming the first woman President of India. Pratibha won the presidential election by a huge margin, defeating NDA-backed independent candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Escorted by a company of soldiers clad in white-uniforms and riding horses, Patil was sworn in at a regal ceremony at the Central Hall of Parliament on July 25, 2007. Soon after she took oath and exchanged seats with outgoing President A P J Abdul Kalam, the customary 21-gun salute was accorded to her. Though Pratibha Patil was elected to the top post after a bitter campaign, the ceremony witnessed the gracious coming together of the ruling and Opposition sides.
Image: The new President salutes as her predecessor looks on as they inspect the Guard of Honour after the swearing-in ceremony. (AP)