Who is Droupadi Murmu? A tribal leader from Odisha who could be next President

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National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to file her nomination papers, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo/JP Nadda Twitter)

On June 21, former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was named as the common candidate of the Opposition for the Presidential elections

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Mumbai  

The presidential candidate nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA, Droupadi Murmu on Friday filed her nomination papers at the Parliament Library Building in the national capital.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed her name for the nomination, which was seconded by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. The second set of proposers were the chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, the third proposers were MLAs and MPs from Himachal and Haryana and the fourth set were MLAs and MPs from Gujarat.

Droupadi Murmu, the first woman tribal leader to file her nomination for the top constitutional post of the country, is a seasoned politician from Odisha coupled with an extensive background in the field of academics reflects that she will uplift the tribal sections of the country.

Droupadi Murmu, who was declared BJP-led NDA’s presidential candidate, is a former Governor of Jharkhand and a former Odisha minister. She will face opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha in the presidential contest on July 18. If elected, she will be the first tribal President of India and the country’s second female President.

Droupadi Murmu is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance. She continues to break barriers and was the first woman governor of Jharkhand. She served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021.

Born in a poor tribal family in a village of Mayurbhanj, a backward district in Odisha, Droupadi Murmu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She taught at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur.

Born on June 20, 1958, she pursued BA at Ramadevi Women’s College Bhubaneswar. She started her political career as Rairangpur NAC vice-chairman. Droupadi Murmu was a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Rairangpur between 2000 and 2004. As a minister, she held portfolios of Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. She again served as MLA in the Odisha assembly from 2004 to 2009.

Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha named as the joint opposition candidate for President polls. (ANI Photo)

In 2007, the Odisha assembly honored her with the ‘Nilakantha Award’ for best MLA.

She served as a junior assistant in Irrigation and Power Department between 1979 and 1983. She has held several organizational posts in BJP and was vice president of state ST Morcha in 1997.

Droupadi Murmu was a national executive member of BJP’s ST Morcha from 2013 to 2015 and served as BJP district chief of Mayurbhanj (West) in 2010 and 2013. Between 2006 and 2009, she was chief of BJP’s ST Morcha in Odisha. She was a member of the national executive of BJP ST Morcha from 2002 to 2009.

Besides, the NDA partners, including Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, the YSR Congress led by Jagan Mohan Reddy has also announced its support to the candidature of Murmu.

Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda at Parliament Library Building in Delhi said that the people of the country especially the tribal community are feeling proud of her nomination. “The people of the country especially the tribal community are feeling proud of the nomination of Droupadi Murmu as a presidential candidate. This is historic,” said Munda.

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma on NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu said that National People’s Party (NPP) is supporting her candidature. “I am extremely thrilled. It has been a part of our ideology. My late father PS Sangma had once said that one day a tribal person will become the President of India. It is dream come true for all of us. We are supporting her candidature,” said Sangma.

Meanwhile, the Central government has provided ‘Z’ category armed security cover of Central Reserve Police Force to Opposition presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha, official sources said on Friday.

Now, former Union Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Yashwant Sinha will be guarded round the clock by armed CRPF personnel.

On June 21, Sinha was named as the common candidate of the Opposition for the Presidential elections. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had made the announcement of his name as the presidential candidate of the opposition during a meeting.

Sinha, who had quit the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2018, joined the TMC last year. He was later appointed as the party’s vice-president.

The election of the office of the President of India is scheduled for July 18 and the counting of votes, if needed, will be done on July 21.

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