Who is Draupadi Murmu, NDA's pick for President
Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance has named Draupadi Murmu, a tribal woman leader, as its pick for the Presidential race. The 64-year-old former Jharkhand governor will be contesting against the joint opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha, a former Union Minister, for the July polls. If elected, Murmu will be the first tribal woman to become the President of India.
Murmu's political career
Notably, Murmu joined BJP in 1997 and started her political career as a councilor in the same year. She was later also elected as the Vice-Chairperson of Rairangpur National Advisory Council or NAC. She is also a two-time BJP legislator from Odisha and was a minister in the Naveen Patnaik Cabinet when the Biju Janata Dal ruled the state with the support of BJP.
Murmu as a legislator
Murmu was first elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in 2000 from Rairangpur. As a minister in the BJD-BJP coalition government, she handled various portfolios--transport and commerce, fisheries, and animal husbandry till 2004, when she was re-elected as MLA. She also served as BJP district president in Mayurbhanj, and State president of the BJP Scheduled Tribe Morcha between 2006-2009.
Murmu was awarded 'Nilakantha Award for Best MLA'
Coming from a humble background, Murmu rose through political ranks battling poverty and personal tragedies. As a reward for her contribution as a legislator, she was awarded the 'Nilakantha Award for Best MLA' in 2007 by the legislative assembly.
Education and early career
Born on June 20, 1958, in Odisha's Mayurbhanj, Murmu completed her graduation in arts from Rama Devi Women's College in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Before joining BJP, she had worked as an assistant professor at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research and as a junior assistant at the Irrigation Department of the government of Odisha.
Murmu has many firsts to her name
Murmu, belonging to the Santhal ethnicity, was the first woman to be sworn in as the Jharkhand Governor in 2015. She was also the first tribal woman from her home state of Odisha to become governor. After being chosen as NDA's presidential candidate, she became the first tribal woman to have been chosen as a candidate for India's top constitutional post.