On Tuesday, former governor of Jharkhand, and Bharatiya Janata Party member Droupadi Murmu, was nominated by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance as a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, following the end of Ram Nath Kovind's tenure as the President of India.
Murmu, a tribal leader from Odisha, is the first person belonging to a scheduled tribe to be nominated for the position. If elected, she would become India's first tribal president, and the second female president after Pratibha Patil. She also the first female governor of Jharkhand, and the only one in that position to complete a full five-year term since the creation of Jharkhand in 2000.
Murmu will be facing off against former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who had joined the Trinamool Congress ahead of the West Bengal elections in March 2021. Murmu's victory is highly expected in the upcoming presidential elections on July 18, 2022, with the NDA commanding 48% of the electoral votes.
She was born on June 20, 1958, to a Santhal tribal family in Baidaposi village in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district.
While initially working as a school teacher, she started her political career with the position of councillor in Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat in 1997.
She was first elected as a member of the Odisha assembly in 2000 under the coalition government between Biju Janata Dal and the BJP in the Rairangpur constituency. She was then made the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transport.
In 2004 she retained her assembly seat in Rairangpur, and was subsequently made the Minister of State of Fisheries and Animal Resources Development.
She kept rising through the ranks in the BJP throughout the years, eventually becoming a member of the BJP National Executive (ST Morcha) in 2013. Two years later, she became the governor of Jharkhand.
While the BJP has done poorly in Odisha since its split with the BJD, with Murmu's nomination for the position of president the former might be looking to put up a fight against the later in the 2024 Odisha assembly elections, with the hope of winning the tribal votes in the region.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article used the spelling 'Draupadi Murmu' to refer to NDA's presidential candidate. The article has been changed to reflect the correct spelling, 'Droupadi Murmu'.
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