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Who Is Draupadi Murmu, Why did BJP field Murmu against Yashwant Sinha

- June 21, 2022
draupadi murmu and narendra modi

Draupadi Murmu, a tribal woman leader, is the Modi government’s pick for presidential race. She is up against Yashwant Sinha, a former Union Minister, the joint opposition candidate for the July polls.

Murmu would become the first tribal President of India and second ever female President.

Born on June 20, 1958 Draupadi Murmu was sworn in as the first woman Governor of Jharkhand in the year 2015. She hails from the Santhal tribe of Odisha. Murmu started out as a teacher and then entered into Odisha politics in 1997.

After serving as vice-president of BJP’s Scheduled Tribes Morcha, Draupadi Murmu was elected as MLA twice from the Rairangpur constituency, in 2000 and 2009.

Hailing from Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district and coming from a tribal community, Murmu started out as a teacher and then entered into Odisha politics. She became MLA twice on BJP ticket from Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj (2000 and 2009).

BJP rebel and former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha is going to be the opposition’s candidate for the post of President

The Electoral College has 4,809 electors, including 776 Members of Parliament (MPs) and 4,033 Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs). The total value of votes will be 10,86,431. To win, a candidate must get at least 5,43,216 votes.

The ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 48 per cent of the votes this time. It is 23 per cent for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). So, the NDA should not have any problem in getting its candidate elected. But the contest will become tight if all non-BJP parties unite (this explains hectic consultations on both sides). Then the opposition will have about 51 per cent of the votes. This is unlikely. Some reports say that “independents” such as Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSRCP and Odisha’s ruling BJD may support the NDA. The BJP’s Tamil Nadu ally, the AIADMK, may also do so.

Political pundits touted this as a smart move on BJP’s part. They say, in the context of the presidential elections, Murmu has a higher chance of being elected against Yashwant Sinha considering she is a woman and comes from a humble tribal background.

If elected, Murmu will become the first tribal president of India and the second woman president in the country.

Murmu’s selection as the presidential candidate is in line with NDA’s thought process which picked Ramnath Kovind as its President face in 2017. Kovind hails from a small Koli community of Uttar Pradesh, born in a farmer’s mud house and he became India’s second Dalit President.