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Kovind, Who Could be Prez, Was Denied Entry at Presidential Retreat in Shimla

Updated: June 20, 2017, 2:50 PM IST
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Kovind, Who Could be Prez, Was Denied Entry at Presidential Retreat in Shimla
Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is the NDA’s nominee for upcoming presidential elections.(Image credits/
Shimla: If all goes the BJP’s way, Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind could be the 14th President of India next month — weeks after he was denied entry at a presidential estate in the leafy Mashobra hills area of Shimla.

Kovind, 71, and his family had visited Shimla on May 28 and visited several places. His family travelled in hired taxis, PTI reported.

However, when he reached the Retreat in a high security zone he could not enter the complex as he did not have the required prior permission.

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The Retreat was made a part of the presidential estate after the Viceregal Lodge, which was turned into Rashtrapati Bhavan after Independence, was handed over to the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS).

The president visits the Retreat at least once a year and the core office shifts during his stay.

Shashi Kant, advisor to Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat, said, "The Bihar governor visited the Kalyani helipad, constructed especially for the president, and I suggested he should visit forests of Shimla water supply catchment area, known as one of the best maintained forests in the world. He was fascinated by the greenery and scenic beauty."

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Kovind maintained a low-profile. Though he and his wife used an official vehicle, other family members went sightseeing in hired taxis.

The governor went to Mall Road and the Ridge. He expressed concern over increasing traffic congestion in the hill town and said steps should be taken to decongest the roads for the convenience of tourists.

It took him five-and-a-half hours to reach Shimla from Chandigarh by road against the normal two-and-a-half hours.

A close friend of the Himachal Pradesh governor, Kovind gifted a box of mangoes and an idol of Lord Buddha to him. The presidential election, if required, will be held on July 17.
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