Traditionally, the President-elect takes the oath of office in the forenoon. But Pratibha Patil has chosen to break tradition. She will assume office at 2.30 pm in Central Hall of Parliament on July 25.
There is no official word on Patil’s decision but astrologers say the timing marks the beginning of an auspicious phase.
Prominent astrologer Dinesh Sharma says, “It is full moon ekadashi which is very positive. There is a unique combination of Gaj Kesri. Jupiter and moon are in the same house and both in ascendant with Scorpio. This signifies stability. It makes you king and gives you powers befitting a king. This period begins from 2.20 pm and lasts till 4.38 pm that day.”
Astrologers also say the nakshatra is Anuradha, which signifies a female friend (read Sonia Gandhi).
“This instills confidence and brings to fore qualities of being strict and getting even with detractors,” says Sharma.
Astrologer Suresh Kaushal says, “This is the most auspicious time on July 25 and the best lagna. Apart from this there is no good lagna during the day…. The star of constitutional duties and judiciary Jupiter is very well placed, as is the star of the Executive i.e. the sun. This would enable her to express her views fearlessly. She will also speak publicly on religion.”
Patil will get the first taste of a dazzling display of military pomp and pageantry when she assumes office on the day.
As the presidential limousine takes her and outgoing President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam from Rashtrapati Bhavan to Parliament, 1,000 strapping soldiers will crisply salute the lady President on both sides of the road.
And before she enters Parliament’s Central Hall, the elite President’s Body Guard, the only unit in the Indian Army privileged to carry the President's Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner, will salute the President and the President-elect. After Patil subscribes an oath, and the President and President-elect have exchanged greetings a 21-gun salute will be fired.
At the end of the ceremony of assumption of office, Kalam and Patil will proceed to Rashtrapati Bhavan with the PBG escorting the Presidential cavalcade. An inter-services guard of honour of 150 soldiers drawn from the three services will be presented first to Patil and then Kalam. A band will be in attendance for both guards of honour.
The battery of VVIPs attending the ceremony will include the Prime Minister, Cabinet members, the Speaker, Chief Justice of India, deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, Heads of Diplomatic missions, MPs and senior civil and military officers. Governors and chief ministers have also been included in the invitees from this year.