With Eid coming up next week, many are set to celebrate with an Iftar party. But not President Ram Nath Kovind. At least not at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Kovind has decided that he will not observe any religious functions at the Rashtrapati Bhavan using taxpayers’ money, according to media reports. "After the President took over office, he decided there would be no religious celebrations or observances in a public building such as Rashtrapati Bhavan on taxpayer expense," said Ashok Malik, Press Secretary to the President to ANI.
According to Malik, the President did not celebrate any other religious ceremony such as Diwali, Christmas or Holi. However, Kovind wished all his fellow citizens on all major festivals since he took office in 2017. In a series of tweets, Malik explained that this move is in keeping with the principles of a secular state and applies to all festivities.
Iftar parties were usually hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan except while APJ Abdul Kalam was in office between 2002 and 2007, officials told media outlets. Iftar parties were resumed after Pratibha Patil took charge and even her successor, Pranab Mukherjee followed the tradition.
Iftar is an evening meal with which Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.