Guwahati: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has announced its candidate for the presidential election. The party has nominated Draupadi Murmu as its candidate. BJP National President JP Nadda said that the BJP Parliamentary Board discussed 20 names for the presidential candidate, after which it was decided to choose a tribal woman from eastern India Draupadi Murmu will be the BJP candidate for the post of President.
Earlier in the day, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha was selected as the joint Opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
Notably, Draupadi Murmu, BJP-led NDA’s surprise presidential candidate, is likely to file her nomination papers on June 25.
Following the announcement of NDA’s presidential candidate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji has devoted her life to serving society and empowering the poor, the downtrodden as well as the marginalised. She has rich administrative experience and had an outstanding gubernatorial tenure. I am confident she will be a great President of our nation.”
“Millions of people, especially those who have experienced poverty and faced hardships, derive great strength from the life of Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji. Her understanding of policy matters and compassionate nature will greatly benefit our country,” PM Modi added.
Talking about Draupadi Murmu’s life, the journey from being a junior assistant in the Irrigation and Power Department in Odisha to being nominated as the BJP-led NDA’s presidential nominee has been a long and difficult one for tribal leader Murmu.
NDA candidate Murmu was born on 20 June 1958 in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. Hailing from a highly backward and remote district, Murmu, battling poverty and other problems, graduated in arts from Ramadevi Women’s College in Bhubaneswar and started her career as a junior assistant in the Odisha government’s irrigation and power department.
Started political career as a councillor
Hailing from the Santhal community, Murmu started her political career in 1997 as a councillor in Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat. Later she became the Vice President of Rairangpur National Advisory Council. In 2013, she rose to the rank of a national executive member of the party’s ST Morcha. Draupadi Murmu was the Minister of State for Fisheries and Animal Resource Development from August 6, 2002, to May, with independent charge for commerce and transport from 2000–2002, during the Bharatiya Janata Party and Biju Janata Dal coalition government in Odisha.
Awarded with Neelkanth Award for Best MLA
Murmu was awarded the Neelkanth Award for the best MLA of the year by the Odisha Legislative Assembly in 2007. Murmu, a two-time MLA from Rairangpur, had held on to her assembly seat in 2009 even after the BJD broke ties with the BJP a few weeks before the state elections, in which Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s party BJD won.
Murmu was married to Shyam Charan Murmu and the couple has three children – two sons and a daughter. Murmu’s life has been full of personal tragedies as she has lost her husband and both sons. His daughter Itishree is married to Ganesh Hembram.
Will be the first tribal president after being elected
She was MLA from Rairangpur assembly constituency of Odisha in the years 2000 and 2004. She was the first woman to take oath as the Governor of Jharkhand in 2015. She has been the first woman tribal leader to be appointed governor. After being elected, Draupadi Murmu will be India’s first tribal president and second woman president. Apart from this, she will also be the first President from Odisha. He has spent almost two decades in politics and social service.