India: Overcoming gender barrier, Pratibha Patil becomes first woman president in landslide victory Print E-mail

  Sunday July 22 2007, Page 1


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e-Paper. Sunday July 22 2007, Page 1

 


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  Sunday July 22 2007, Page 10



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Sunday July 22 2007

Joy over choice: Congress workers celebrate the victory of Pratibha Patil in the Presidential poll outside her residence in New Delhi on Saturday. Carrying placards and shouting slogans eulogising Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Ms. Patil, they distributed sweets after the poll result was declared.
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Sunday July 22 2007

Leaders and commoners greet Patil

 

New Delhi, PTI: Political leaders and well- wishers today made a beeline for the South Avenue residence of Pratibha Patil to greet her on being elected as the country's first woman President..

Political leaders and well- wishers today made a beeline for the South Avenue residence of Pratibha Patil to greet her on being elected as the country's first woman President.
   Union Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, former Chattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi were among the politicians who greeted the President-elect.
   Dasmunsi, who met Patil with his legislator wife and son at her temporary residencehere, said, "Yesterday, I was busy with the counting related work. So I could not meet the President-elect.
   "Today I met her with my family. We wish that her tenure is a great success and provides a new dimension to the post of the President," said Dasmunsi, who was Patil's election agent.
   Replying to a query, he said, "You people did not believe me when I said we will win with a massive majority. But we did and I did this with my experience as a youth Congress leader."
   Dasmunsi's wife expressed confidence that Patil's election would usher in an era of women's empowerment.
   Dikshit, accompanied by several cabinet colleagues, said Patil's election as the head of state of the world's largest democracy symbolised the empowerment of every woman.
   Apart from the VIP visitors, there was steady stream of people who lined up to greet Patil. Among them was a group of Brahma Kumaris, the spritual organisation that Patil holds in high esteem.
   Patil's husband Devisingh Shekhawat said the family would shift to the Rashtrapati Bhavan after she is sworn-in.
   Shekhawat jokingly remarked: "Now she (Pratibha) will be the head of the family."
   Talking to reporters, Brahma Kumari Shanti expressed confidence that Patil would be a good President. "She should focus not only on physical progress of the country but also on psychological and spritual progress."
   Brij Mohan, a senior functionary of the organisation, said the controversy over Patil' remarks about a "divine premonition" of her victory was blown up in the media.
   Humorist and poet Surendra Sharma, the host of the popular FM radio show "Sharmaji se poocho" too was there to greet Patil.
   "My wife calls the shots in my home. Ab mere ghar jaise sthiti hojayegi poore desh mein (The same situation will prevail across the country)," he quipped.
   There were a large number of commoners who came to congratulate the President-elect. They included a swamiji from Dakor in Gujarat, a group of people from Rajasthan in their traditional attire and a tribal delegation from Andhra Pradesh.

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 Sunday July 22 2007

Celebration time for Madam Prez

 

From Kalyan Ray, DH News Service, New Delhi:

Accompanied by Ms Gandhi and Dr Singh, Ms Patil faced the cameras for the first time since the controversies on her close family members alleged involvement in a bank scam and in a murder trial, broke out.

After six hot and humid days, the Capital received a refreshing bout of rain on Saturday. But a row of Chinese Box plants (Kamini) in front of 11, South Avenue could not were deprived of refreshing drops.
These plants were covered by two huge canopies, installed to protect the hundreds of newspersons waiting in front of this ground floor flat. They were waiting since morning to have a glimpse of the occupant of the house. But she did not venture out.

At 5:35 pm, Lok Sabha Secretary General and returning officer for the Presidential poll P D T Achary arrived at the venue to officially convey the result of the Presidential election to the occupant of the flat ­ Ms Pratibha Patil.   

Within minutes, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi (in a blue sari) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  arrived to welcome Madam President. It was celebration time.

Accompanied by Ms Gandhi and Dr Singh, Ms Patil faced the cameras for the first time since the controversies on her close family members’ alleged involvement in a bank scam and in a murder trial, broke out.  

‘Victory of principles’
But the victory in a democratic election appears to have washed off all things controversial. “This is a victory of principles and right thinking of people. I am thankful to the people of India. This is a victory of the people,” she said, after flashing the victory sign.

Dr Singh termed this victory as a vote against the politics of divisiveness. “The victory of Pratibha Patil for the august office of the President is the victory of those forces which seek to unite our people. It will strengthen the foundation of our secular republic.”

On behalf of the Left, CPI leaders A B Bardhan and D Raja arrived within half an hour to congratulate the next Rashtrapathi Bhawan occupant. CPM’s Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury were not among those who arrived within the first hour. Asked to comment, Ms Gandhi said she was elated at the country getting its first woman President after 60 years of independence. “It’s special moment for women,” she said.

The Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury was quick to take the cue. She happily moved from one TV channel to other giving bytes on how this election is a watershed event for the womanhood. The celebration has intensified by then with Congress workers distributing sweets. There were no firecrackers.

Historic occasion
With senior political leaders coming one after another to congratulate Ms Patil, it was a busy time for camerapersons who moved from one corner to another to shoot this historic occasion.

In another four days, she will shift to the Rashtrapati Bhawan where his predecessor is leaving a huge collection of beautiful flowers for her eyes to feast upon.