Patil's husband to be occasional guest at Rashtrapati Bhavan | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Patil's husband to be occasional guest at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Patil's husband says his stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan will not go on continually and that he will stay at his Maharashtra residence.

delhi Updated: Jul 24, 2007 19:29 IST

Five happy family members of President-elect Pratibha Patil will move into Rashtrapati Bhavan along with her after she takes oath on Wednesday. But none of them, including husband Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat, is likely to stay in the presidential palace throughout her five-year tenure.

The kin awaiting the thrilling journey from 9, South Avenue in the heart of the capital to Rashtrapati Bhavan are, besides the husband, son Raosaheb and daughter Jyoti Sisodia as well as their spouses, a family source told IANS.

"I will stay there with her off and on but my regular place of residence will be my home in Amravati (in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region)," Devisingh told IANS.

Devisingh told journalists on Saturday, the day Patil was elected, that she would be the "head of the family" and it would be a "matriarchal family". "I am just an ordinary person," he had said.

The ex-principal of a college run by Patil's Vidya Bharati Shikshan Sanstha, Shekhawat used to be only an occasional guest even at her official residence in Jaipur when she was governor of Rajasthan until recently.

He has been a Congress party member and a former Mayor of Amravati.

Originally a Rajput from Rajasthan, Shekhawat's family had migrated to Maharashtra from Chota Losal village in Sikar in Rajasthan 100 years ago. The two married on July 7, 1965.

Interestingly, the Shekhawat home in Amravati, called Devi Sadan, was renovated during Patil's gubernatorial tenure in order to give it a traditional Rajasthani look and renamed Rajasthan Sadan.

Patil will take oath as President of India at Parliament's Central Hall at 2.40 pm, the auspicious moment decided by Shekhawats' family astrologer, Pandit Abhishek Sharma of Jaipur, the family source said.

Patil and Devisingh will be taken to Central Hall from 9, South Avenue (her makeshift residence during the presidential election campaign) with full state honours at 1.30 pm.

Attending the ceremony will be Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his cabinet colleagues, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, MPs, the three armed forces chiefs, senior diplomats and other VVIPs.

"While six entry passes have been issued to Pratibha Patil's family for Rashtrapati Bhavan, as many as 70 passes have been issued in the name of other relatives and close friends to attend the ceremony," the source said.