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Family elated, gears up for Kovind’s swearing-in ceremony

“I made all the preparations a month back. I have got two new sets of kurta-pyjama stitched. I will wear one when I meet him on July 23 and the other on the day he takes oath,” says Pyarelal elder brother of President-elect Ram Nath Kovind.

lucknow Updated: Jul 21, 2017 15:04 IST
HaidarNaqvi
HaidarNaqvi
Hindustan Times, Kanpur Dehat
BJP,Ram Nath Kovind,Pyarelal
Pyarelal and Vidyavati, two persons closest to Kovind, say he is divinely blessed. (HT Photo)

For Pyarelal, the elder brother of President-elect Ram Nath Kovind, it was business as usual.

Like any other day, he opened his cloth shop on Thursday morning.

“I know he (Ram Nath) is going to win big time. He is destined for big things,” he told villagers who started flocking his 6x7 feet shop asking him why he was not at home as this was the biggest day for his family.

Read more: Ram Nath Kovind is next President of India, to take oath on July 25

However, he finally gave in to the pressure of his friends who wanted him to be with his family.

Pyarelal, who is five years older to Ram Nath Kovind, was brought back to his house on a motorcycle. His son Deepak, a teacher at a government school, took him inside the house.

Someone asked Pyarelal if he was prepared for the big day — Kovind’s swearing in ceremony.

“Yes, I am. I made all the preparations a month back. I have got two new sets of kurta-pyjama stitched. I will wear one when I meet him on July 23 and the other on the day he takes oath,” he said as the people burst into laughter.

Next to his house, relatives and family friends surrounded Vidyavati, the sister-in-law of Kovind.

She had been observing a fast for the last two days for his victory. Vidyavati broke the fast once the news broke that Kovind would be the next President of India.

“Who else will welcome him at Rashtrapati Bhavan? I am dying to see Lalla (Kovind),” she said, flanked by her two daughters.

Pyarelal, Vidyavati and her sons and daughters would reach New Delhi by train.

The family members say Vidyavati had a big influence on Kovind whom she raised like her son after the death of his mother. Vidyavati’s husband Shiv Balak, a teacher, took the young Ram Nath under his wings and made some important decisions of his life.

Not only did he make sure that Ram Nath studies hard, he sent him to Kanpur for higher studies.

“Lalla hasn’t changed a bit. He still treats me like his mother and I see him as my eldest son. He last spoke to me before moving to Delhi from Bihar,” she said. Vidyavati said she would wear her most expensive saari when she goes to meet him.

Read more: US ‘looks forward’ to working with President-elect Ram Nath Kovind

The families of Kovind’s three brothers have been living in Jhinjhak for the last 40 years. Pyarelal used to sell cloth door-to-door on foot while Vidyavati supported her children and ensured they got best education despite limited resources.

Pyarelal and Vidyavati, two persons closest to Kovind, say he is divinely blessed.

“The blessings of our deity Patthari Devi and Kovind’s father Mainkulal have changed our fortunes,” they said.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 15:04 IST