President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament for the second time this year.
Dressed in a cream ‘bandgala’, Kovind was on Thursday accorded a ceremonial honour by the President’s Bodyguard (PBG) as he walked down the stairs of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Kovind chose a car over buggy for his journey to Parliament complex. A batch of horse-mounted guards were already in their formation — one batch acting as a pilot while another followed him.
Separately, two horse-mounted guards walked in the front and two others in the rear.
The PBG is a horse-mounted unit of the Indian Army.
It is rare to see the horse-mounted guards accompany the President outside the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The capital usually gets the visual treat only thrice a year. However, this year it is happening for the fourth time.
The horse-mounted guards accompany the President during the Republic Day and Beating Retreat ceremony.
The only other time when the President steps out with the horse-mounted unit is during his address to the joint sitting of Parliament.
It is customary that the President addresses the joint sitting of Parliament before the Budget, besides the joint sitting after a new Lok Sabha is elected.
Kovind had addressed the joint sitting of Parliament during the interim budget in February this year.
As Kovind reached Parliament Complex, he was received by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the newly elected Speaker Om Birla.