President Kovind recognises old friend, meets after 12 years

President Kovind recognises old friend, meets after 12 years

Bhubaneswar, Dec 9: President Ram Nath Kovind met his old MP friend from Odisha after a long gap of 12 years during the valedictory ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebration of Utkal University on Sunday.

The President recognized Birabhadra Singh, a former Rajya Sabha member from Odisha, who was seating among the audience. He recognised Singh from his white turban and immediately wanted to meet him. With the direction of the President, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan called out for Singh. Both exchanged pleasantries.

Apart from inviting him to Rashtrapati Bhawan, he got some photographs clicked with him as well. Kovind and Singh were Rajya Sabha members between 2000 and 2006. Singh said he would definitely honour the invitation and go to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

“I wanted to meet the President and had even asked the organising committee of the platinum jubilee. I wanted to present a rose to Kovind, but the request was rejected due to security protocol. I had never thought that the President will meet me,” said an elated Singh. “Both of us were members of the ST/SC committee and we have worked together at least for two years,” he 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 the Rashtrapati Bhawan.” The former MP, who has also served as a minister in the state, is an alumni of Utkal University from 1965 to 1967.