Taking over the mantle from "people's President" APJ Abdul Kalam, President Pratibha Patil has said that she would be a "political President" instead of being a "rubber stamp".
"There are several issues on which suggestions could be passed on to the government. A President can always discuss with the government suggestions on critical issues and the government after due consideration can accept or reject those suggestions," she said in an interview to Outlook magazine.
"I am not going to be a rubber stamp. I will be a political President," she said. On taking over from Kalam, who had been hailed as a "people's President", Patil said, "accessibility should not be a problem".
Patil said she was keen on addressing problems faced by rural India and the deprived classes. "I am particularly interested in rural development, the rural economy, women's development, welfare of backward classes, education and health".
Asked whether she found the bitter presidential campaign in which she was personally targeted difficult to handle, Patil said she was never upset.
"I knew what was being said was baseless. If it represented the reality, I would have been perturbed."
As far as she was concerned, the BJP's campaign and the manner in which the Congress dealt with it, is a "closed chapter", she added.
Speaking about her own political career, Patil said, "It was not always easy. I had to face many problems".