New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) Expressing himself overwhelmed by greetings on his first birthday as President, Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday reciprocated with “a heart-felt thank you” to the people, saying he was feeling blessed with the wishes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pranab Mukherjee, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, many Union Ministers and Chief Ministers were among those who wished the President on his 72nd birthday.
“Consider myself blessed to have received so many wishes and such affection from all of you today. A heart-felt thank you,” the President said in a tweet late in the evening.
President Kovind, who was born on October 1, 1945 in Paraukh village in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat, is country’s 14th President and the second Dalit to hold office. He was sworn in to the top post in July this year.
Modi greeted Kovind and hailed his concern for the poor and marginalised.
“Birthday wishes to Rashtrapati ji. May Almighty bless him with a long and healthy life devoted to the service of our nation.
“Since his tenure began, Rashtrapati ji has endeared himself to the people of India through his simple and compassionate nature.
“I have always found Rashtrapati ji to be sensitive towards the aspirations of 125 crore Indians, especially the poor and marginalised,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu called on Kovind to greet him.
Later, he tweeted a photograph saying: “Wished him a long and meaningful life in the service of our mother land.”
Kovind’s predecessor Mukherjee tweeted, “Wishing President Kovind a very Happy Birthday. May you be blessed with long happy and healthy life in service to the Nation.”
However, there was no birthday wishes from Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi or any other party leader.
But Banerjee wished Kovind and said, “Birthday greetings to @rashtrapatibhvn Ram Nath Kovind.”
In July, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Kovind was elected as the new President of India, securing a massive margin over his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rival Meira Kumar in a straight fight.
Earlier in the day, the President visited Shirdi temple and launched Sai Baba’s samadhi centenary celebrations.
On Monday, he will visit Gujarat on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation.