President Ram Nath Kovind
After maintaining a punishing schedule with domestic and international travels dotting his calendar even in the second year of his office, President Ram Nath Kovind, in keeping with presidential tradition in election years, is set to cut down on his tours from the beginning of next year, Rashtrapati Bhawan sources said.
After his two upcoming international visits to Vietnam and Australia, and another to Myanmar in November and December, respectively, and two scheduled trips to Chandigarh and Bihar, the flag atop Rashtrapati Bhawan will be seen flying more frequently than it has been since Kovind became its occupant in 2017.
The flag on Rashtrapati Bhawan is removed when the President is out of Delhi.
The trips to Vietnam, Australia and Myanmar are Kovind’s first to any country to the east of India — an interesting fact given the government’s ‘Look East’ policy.
In Myanmar, the President will hand over the Sittwe port that India has developed to a local operators. The port will open up India’s northeast to the Bay of Bengal through Mizoram and provide an alternative trade route for Kolkata, freeing up the Siliguri corridor. The port in Rakhine is key to the NDA plan to develop northeast India and was conceived during the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
While most Presidents travel a lot in their first year, to connect with the people in their new office, from the second year onwards the visits usually become less frequent. Well into his second year in office, Kovind has continued maintained a busy schedule even his second year — in October alone he visited Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tajikistan, Uttar Pradesh.