'Surprised, Delighted': Droupadi Murmu After Selection as NDA's Prez Candidate

If elected, Droupadi Murmu will become the first Tribal president and the second-ever woman president of India.

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The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Tuesday, 21 June, announced Droupadi Murmu as its presidential candidate in the upcoming elections. BJP president JP Nadda announced her name at a press conference following a meeting of the party's parliamentary board.

If elected, she will become the first tribal president and the second-ever woman president of India.

Meanwhile, the Opposition declared former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as its presidential candidate.

Murmu, who hails from the Santhal community in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district said that she was both "surprised" and "delighted" on learning that she had been nominated for the top job.

"I am surprised as well as delighted. As a tribal woman, I had not thought about becoming the candidate for the top post," Murmu told reporters at her Rairangpur residence.

Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi, others who joined the BJP parliamentary board meeting included Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, and Nitin Gadkari, BJP president J P Nadda, and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Her Journey: From Teacher to Presidential Candidate

Murmu, a former teacher, began her political career as a councillor in Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat in 1997 and rose through the ranks to become a minister in the BJD-BJP alliance government in 2000. She then became the governor of Jharkhand in 2015.

A two-term former MLA from Rairangpur, Murmu held on to her Assembly seat in 2009 when the Biju Janata Dal snapped ties with the BJP weeks ahead of the state elections, which Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's party won.

She said she was "confident" of support from "all members of of the Odisha Legislative Assembly and MPs," especially the BJD, which holds over 2.8 percent of the votes in the electoral college for the forthcoming presidential elections.

The BJP Has Numbers on Its Side

The BJP, with a whopping 300-member presence in the Lok Sabha, has a clear advantage for getting Murmu elected.

The ruling party, with over 48 percent vote share in the electoral college, has a distinct upper hand in the elections slated for 18 July.

With numbers on its side, the BJP-led NDA is expected to ensure the victory of its candidate in the presidential elections.

The BJP, in 2017, had nominated Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu for the post, after which Naidu became NDA's vice-presidential candidate.

Centre Accords Z+ Security Cover to Murmu

The Centre has accorded a Z+ security cover of CRPF commandos to the NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, officials said on Wednesday, 22 June.

The armed squad took over the security of Murmu early Wednesday morning, a senior officer told PTI.

The Union home ministry, after the announcement, directed the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to deploy its VIP security protection team to take charge of her security.


'She Will Be a Great President': PM Modi

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Murmu has devoted her life to empowering the poor and the downtrodden.

He tweeted, "Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji has devoted her life to serving society and empowering the poor, 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."

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the decision would take "tribal pride to new heights."

He tweeted on Tuesday, "Today is a very important moment for the country, when NDA under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and JP Nadda ji, announced Mrs. Draupadi Murmu ji for the presidency. This decision will work to take tribal pride to new heights. I congratulate Modi ji for this."

He said in another tweet, "I wish her all the best on becoming a candidate for this dignified post and I am sure she will definitely win."

BJP President JP Nadda said, "Till Today, there has not been a single adivasi Presidential nominee, and for the first time the Parliamentary board is declaring a tribal Presidential candidate.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  BJP   NDA   droupadi murmu 

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