BHUBANESWAR: In December 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind had a pleasant experience while attending the platinum jubilee celebrations of Utkal University in Bhubaneswar. He could recognise his long-time friend Birabhadra Singh sitting quietly in the audience.
He asked his officers to arrange a meeting post the celebrations.
During the meeting that lasted for 30 minutes, the President had invited Singh to Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Kovind kept his word and played host to Singh and family who visited the Rashtrapati Bhawan on February 4.
Singh’s happiness knew no boundaries when he narrated his feelings to mediapersons here on Thursday about his recent meeting with Kovind which lasted over 30 minutes.
Singh said President Kovind told my children that “I know your father and recognised him from his ‘Pagdi’ at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. I knew him (Singh) by heart since the time we were together.”
Birabhadra Singh and Kovind were Rajya Sabha members from 2001 to 2005. It was during the valedictory session of Utkal University platinum jubilee celebrations in December last year that the President met Singh after 12 years.
Though Singh then had expressed desire to meet Kovind much before his arrival and approached the President’s security officers to allow him to offer a rose, his request was turned down due to security reasons.
However, Singh’s dream came true when President himself recognised him sitting in the audience and immediately asked his officers to arrange a meeting.
“I told him that his decision to meet me was appreciated by media which termed the friendship to be that of ‘Krishna and Sudama’,” said Singh....