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    India's new President, 69-year-old Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, officially took office in New Delhi yesterday?

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    India's new President, 69-year-old Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, officially took office in New Delhi yesterday (24 August). The former Food Minister had been elected to the largely ceremonial post the previous week with a massive majority.

    Earlier, Mr. Ahmed had resigned his ministerial office so that he could run for President -- as the candidate of the ruling Congress Party. His election was a massive vindication of the support for the Congress Party in Parliament and the State Assemblies. He received 765,578 votes as against the 189, 196 polled by his only rival, Mr. Tridib Kumar Chaudhury.

    Outgoing President V.V. Girl, who has completed his five year term of office, watched yesterday as his successor took the oath of office, repeating the world after Indian Chief Justice A.N. Ray.

    SYNOPSIS: A new head of state in India. On Saturday, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed moved in procession through the Presidency's Durbar Hall to be sworn in as Indian President for the next five years. He'd resigned as Food Minister in order to run for the Presidency, and he'd been elected by a huge majority on the ruling Congress Party ticket.

    Mr. Ahmed stood alongside outgoing President V. V. Giri, who has new completed his term of office. Even the Congress Party was surprised at the overwhelming support for Mr. Ahmed IN the voting, open only to members of Parliament and State Assemblies, he received eighty per cent of the votes. He was officially sworn in by India's Chief Justice.

    In a later inauguration speech, Mr. Ahmed pledged that India would seek friendly relations with all countries, especially its neighbors. Mr. Ahmed is he second Muslim to hold office as President in India, ???tly a Hindu country.

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