On Tuesday, a tribal leader from Odisha, Droupadi Murmu was declared the ruling NDA’s candidate for the upcoming presidential election. BJP Chief JP Nadda confirmed that the decision was made after the party’s parliamentary board meeting. Murmu would be India’s second woman president and the country’s first tribal leader if elected.
The Opposition had declared former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as its joint candidate earlier in the day. The election will be held on July 18. Here is all the information you need about the BJP’s presidential contender.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent his best wishes following the announcement of Murmu’s name. Later, PM Modi published a message on social media saying that Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji has dedicated her life to helping the underprivileged, oppressed, and marginalised members of society. She has extensive managerial expertise and a distinguished record as governor.
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 21, 2022
Droupadi Murmu, a politician from India’s tribal community, was born in 1958. 64-year-old Murmu will be the country’s first head of state from an Odisha tribal group if elected. She was the first tribal person to hold the office of governor of Jharkhand. When Naveen Patnaik established the government in Odisha with the help of the BJP, she was a member of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Cabinet. Naveen Patnaik is in full support of the NDA candidate.
Because she served as governor of Jharkhand, a state with a tribal majority governed by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, a partner in the UPA, the Opposition camp may be hard-hit by Murmu’s selection as the presidential candidate.
Jharkhand As a member of the opposition, Mukti Morcha is anticipated to support Yashwant Sinha in his bid for the presidency. However, Murmu has a good working connection with the state government as a previous governor of Jharkhand. This might put the JMM in a problematic situation.
Murmu had failed the former BJP government’s plan to change the land tenancy laws in Jharkhand in 2017. The legislation to alter the Chhotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act had been returned by her. Jharkhand’s tribal groups fiercely opposed the planned changes to the CNT and SPT Acts during the previous BJP administration.
This is proof enough that Draupadi Murmu is a capable tribal administrator. By making this choice, the BJP hopes to increase its political influence in Odisha and make progress in Jharkhand, where it last in the 2019 polls.
This might be part of the BJP’s long-term political strategy. In the approaching assembly elections later this year, it might also gain short-term political advantages from Gujarat, the stronghold of Prime Minister Modi. According to the 2011 census, more than 14% of tribal people live in Gujarat. Tribal communities predominate in Gujarat districts like Dang.
In the Northeast, where the tribal population is significantly higher, the action may also have a significant electoral benefit for the BJP. According to the 2011 census, 8.6 per cent of Indians identified as tribal. However, the total is far higher in some states than in others. Scheduled tribes make up 2.8 per cent of the population in cities and 11.3 per cent of the overall population in rural areas.
This choice may help the BJP gain gains in states like Chhattisgarh, where it lost ground in the most recent Assembly election. Because Chhattisgarh has a population that is more than 30% tribal, according to the 2011 census, opposing a tribal presidential candidate could potentially cost the current Congress administration, led by Bhupesh Baghel.
The BJP is anticipating support from the action in Madhya Pradesh, where more than 20% of the population is tribal. It was extremely difficult for the BJP to win Madhya Pradesh in the most recent assembly elections, and it was only Jyotiraditya Scindia’s revolt and the support of other MLAs that allowed the BJP to overthrow the Kamal Nath-led Congress government and form its own government.
It consequently offers Yashwant Sinha, the joint-Opposition nominee for the top position, the advantage over the BJP and the NDA. The former Union minister is not well-liked by the general public and does not account for caste well.