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A tribal and a woman, Draupadi Murmu gives power to presidential race

Ms. Murmu belongs to a member of the Adivasi community of Odisha, a particularly marginalized group in India.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Draupadi Murmu, the first tribal leader to be nominated for the top constitutional post of the country, if elected would also be the second women president of India. The former governor of Jharkhand, Ms. Murmu, the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance is a seasoned politician from the tribal belt of Odisha, having an extensive background in the field of academics.

The presidential nominee Draupadi Murmu, whose name was announced by JP Nadda, BJP president on Tuesday night after BJP’s parliamentary board meeting will be the first President of India, is known for her sobriety, simplicity, and was popular for her accessibility during her tenure as governor.

While announcing her candidature, the BJP president said that for the first time, priority has been given to a woman tribal candidate from the east. “We announce Draupadi Murmu as the NDA’s candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections after scrutinizing 20 names.”

Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister of Odisha said it was a “great moment” for the residents of his coastal state.

“Congratulations to Ms. Draupadi Murmu on being named the NDA’s presidential candidate. When Hon. PM Narendra Modi Ji and I talked about this, and I was thrilled. For the people of Odisha, this is undoubtedly a proud occasion “.

The selection of Ms. Murmu, a member of the Adivasi community, a particularly marginalized group in India, as the NDA’s candidate for the position of next President of India is a significant step. Her name was also doing the rounds for the presidential elections before Ram Nath Kovind made the cut.

If she gets elected, Draupadi Murmu will be the first President of India who is from Jharkhand. She will also be the first tribal to hold the top post of the nation. She would be the second female president of the country after Sh. Pratibha Patil, if she gets elected.

Life of Draupadi Murmu

Born in the Santhal community on June 20, 1958, in Baidaposi village of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha into a Scheduled Tribe (ST) family to Biranchi Narayan Tudu. Both her father and grandfather were heads of villages under the Panchayati raj system. She was married to Sh. Shyam Charan Murmu.

Draupadi Murmu graduated from Rama Devi Women’s College, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Before starting her political career, she served as an assistant professor at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research and a junior assistant at the irrigation department of the government of Odisha.

Political Journey

Draupadi Murmu started her political career as a councilor in Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat in Odisha in the year 1997 and then became a minister in the Odisha government in the year 2000.

She served as an MLA twice for Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj on a BJP ticket (2000 and 2009). She held the portfolios of Commerce and Transport, then Fisheries and Animal Husbandry during the BJP-BJD coalition government that took office in 2000.

Draupadi Murmu was also the vice-president and later president of the Scheduled Tribes Morcha of the Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She was also nominated as a member of BJP the National Executive (ST Morcha) in 2013.

Draupadi Murmu also has the distinction of becoming the first woman governor of Jharkhand. Draupadi Murmu was made the 9th Governor of Jharkhand on 18 May 2015 and remained in this post till 12 July 2021. She was the first governor of the state who completed their term.

Draupadi Murmu was awarded the Neelkanth Award for the best MLA of the year by the Odisha Legislative Assembly in the year 2007.

Officials and lawmakers in Jharkhand praise her as a “compassionate and balanced” administrator who remained “accessible and down to earth”.