Lucknow: Twenty fifth of July is not like any another date in English calendar. The date holds special significance as far as appointment of our Presidents is concerned. Call it a coincidence or something else, but the fact remains that the new President will be appointed on the same date. Seven others have also assumed office on this date .
The present incumbent , Pranab Mukherjee, retires on July 25 and the new President will be appointed by the chief justice of India on that date. Votes are being cast by members of Parliament and members of state assemblies. Counting will be done three days later.
The first to join office on this date in July month was Neelam Sanjiva Reddy in 1977. The next President Gyani Zail Singh was appointed on that date in 1982.
The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Singh were not on the same page and it was feared that he would not compete his term. However, he remained in saddle till 1987 before R Venkatraman took over.
Shankar Dayal Sharma who replaced him also assumed office on July 25 in 1992. K R Narayanan and missile man Abdul Kalam Azad had the same date of joining office.
Some other notable features
Two country’s Presidents, Zakir Hussain, who was the third after Rajendra Prasad and S Radhakrishnan in the list from the top, and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, had died in harness.
V V Giri was the first acting president. He had assumed office in July 1969 and remained there till August, the same year.
B D Jatti was another acting President. He held the topmost constitutional position for only about five months.