Saturday, August 13, 2022

Droupadi Murmu becomes India’s first tribal President

Droupadi Murmu scripted history on Thursday by becoming India’s first tribal President in the one-sided contest, defeating Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. Murmu, 64, won by an overwhelming margin against Sinha after receiving over 64 per cent valid votes in a day-long counting of ballots of MPs and MLAs, comprising the electoral college, to succeed Ram Nath Kovid to become the country’s 15th president.
After the end of the counting process that continued for more than 10 hours, returning officer P C Mody declared Murmu as the winner and said that she got 6,76,803 votes against Sinha’s 3,80,177 votes.
The counting of votes also suggests that Murmu was the beneficiary of cross-voting from 17 MPs. Assam, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh assemblies witnessed a significant number of Opposition MLAs voting for the BJP-led NDA’s candidate.
She will be the first President to be born after independence and is the youngest to occupy the top post. She is also the second woman to become the President. She will be sworn in on July 25. Her victory was sealed after the third round itself when the returning officer announced that Murmu had already received over 53 per cent of the total valid votes even as ballots from 10 states and Union territories are still being counted.
Conceding defeat after the third round of counting, Sinha congratulated Murmu and said every Indian hope that as the 15th President she functions as the “custodian of the Constitution” without fear or favour.
In a statement, Sinha thanked the leaders of the Opposition parties for choosing him as their consensus candidate in this election and all members of the Electoral College who voted for him.
Immediately after the announcement of the NDA presidential nominee crossing the halfway mark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president J P Nadda visited Murmu at her residence here to congratulate her. “India scripts history. At a time when 1.3 billion Indians are marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a daughter of India hailing from a tribal community born in a remote part of eastern India has been elected our President!,” Modi tweeted
“Droupadi Murmu Ji’s life, her early struggles, her rich service and her exemplary success motivates each and every Indian. She has emerged as a ray of hope for our citizens, especially the poor, marginalised and the downtrodden,” he said in a series of tweets.
Modi also thanked all MPs and MLAs across party lines who supported her candidature and said her “record victory” augurs well for our democracy.
“Droupadi Murmu Ji has been an outstanding MLA and Minister. She had an excellent tenure as Jharkhand governor. I am certain she will be an outstanding President who will lead from the front and strengthen India’s development journey,” he said.
Born on June 20, 1958, in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, she catapulted into the national spotlight after being picked as the ruling NDA’s presidential nominee in the July 18 polls. It is from Rairangpur that she took her first step up the BJP ladder. She was a councillor in the local Notified Area Council in 1997 and rose to be a minister in Odisha’s BJD-BJP coalition government from 2000-04. In 2015, she was appointed governor of Jharkhand and stayed in the post till 2021.

SourcePTI

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