Odisha / President sees friend in audience after 12 yrs, calls him on stage

The New Indian Express : Dec 09, 2019, 05:42 PM

BHUBANESWAR: Known for his down-to-earth nature, President Ram Nath Kovind forgot his protocol to meet his friend and former Rajya Sabha member from Odisha Birabhadra Singh during valedictory ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebration of Utkal University on Sunday.

Kovind recognised Singh, who was sitting among audience, by seeing his white turban and asked Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan present on the dais to call him to the stage after the event ended. Both exchanged pleasantries after which the President was also seen taking photograph with Singh.

Singh was amazed at the President’s gesture. In his reaction Singh said he met President after a gap of 12 years. He had the opportunity to work with Kovind when he was a member of Rajya Sabha between 2000 and 2006. “Both of us were members of the ST/SC committee during that period and we have worked together at least for two years,” Singh added.

Singh also revealed that, “Though he had wished to offer a rose to the President at the event, he wasn’t allowed to do so due to security protocol. The President also invited me to Rashtrapati Bhawan.”

The former MP, who has also served as a minister in the State, is an alumni of Utkal University. He had studied in the university for two years from 1965 to 1967.