India's new president takes oath

Pratibha Patil is the first woman to hold the office.

    Patil was elected by federal and state legislators last week and succeeds Abdul Kalam [EPA]

    Patil was elected by federal and state legislators last week and succeeds Abdul Kalam, the popular former president.
     
    Although the office is largely ceremonial, the president has a role in the forming of governments at the state and federal levels. The prime minister wields executive power in India.
     
    The Congress party-led government has billed Patil's appointment as a historic day for India's women, but critics said it was a hollow gesture after a campaign marred by mud-slinging and partisan politics.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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