Presidential polls: BJP-led NDA nominates ex-Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) National Democratic Alliance has picked former Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu as its nominee for the upcoming presidential elections. The much-awaited announcement was made by BJP National President JP Nadda late on Tuesday. India is set to hold the 16th presidential election to choose the successor of President Ram Nath Kovind on July 18. Here are more details on Murmu.
Preference given to woman tribal candidate: Nadda
While announcing the NDA's decision, Nadda stated, "For the first time, preference has been given to a woman tribal candidate. We announce Draupadi Murmu as NDA's candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections." Interestingly, if she does get elected next month, Murmu will script history as the first tribal woman to become the President of India and only the second-ever woman to hold the post.
Murmu entered Odisha politics back in 1997
Born on June 20, 1958, Murmu hails from Mayurbhanj, Odisha, and reportedly belongs to the Santhal tribe. Initially, she worked as a teacher and forayed into Odisha's politics in 1997. Later, Murmu was elected as the Rairangpur MLA twice—in 2000 and 2009. In the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and BJP coalition government in Odisha, she was a minister in CM Naveen Patnaik's cabinet (2000-04).
Was appointed as Jharkhand's first woman governor
Murmu was previously also appointed as the Vice-President of the BJP's Scheduled Tribes Morcha. Later, in 2015, she was named the first woman Governor of Jharkhand and she held the post until 2021. Notably, Murmu was a strong contender for the NDA's nominee before the 2017 presidential polls, but Kovind was ultimately picked by the BJP-led coalition, as per reports.
BJP held key meeting before announcing presidential nominee
The announcement of NDA's presidential candidate comes hours after the BJP held a crucial meeting on the presidential elections on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also reportedly scheduled to join the key meeting virtually. Before this meeting, Union Ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh as well as Nadda had met with Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, too, regarding their presidential nominee.
Opposition parties picked Yashwant Sinha as joint candidate
Meanwhile, leaders of 17 Opposition parties—including Trinamool Congress (TMC), Congress, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Communist Party of India, among others—met on Tuesday afternoon to finalize their common candidate for the presidential elections. Veteran politician and TMC Vice-President Yashwant Sinha has been jointly nominated by these Opposition parties. Before his candidature was announced, Sinha quit all party posts on Tuesday.