BJP-led NDA on Tuesday announced former Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu’s name as its candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections to be held on July 18.
Ms Murmu, 64 years old, belongs to the Scheduled Tribe community and hails from the state of Odisha. If elected, she will be the first tribal woman to become the President of India.
BJP president J P Nadda announced her name at a press meet following a meeting of the party’s top brass.
Along with being the first female governor of Jharkhand, she also holds the record for being the first governor of Jharkhand to serve the full five-year term (2015-2021) since the state was formed in 2000.
Speaking on her candidature, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed confidence that she will be a ‘great President’ of the country.
“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.”
“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.” PM Modi said in a series of tweets.
Ms Murmu started her political career as a councillor, later becoming the Vice-Chairperson of the Rairangpur National Advisory Council.
She is also a two-term BJP legislator from Odisha and served in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet when the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ruled the state with BJP’s support.
This comes on the same day when former Trinamool Congress vice president Yashwanth Sinha has been selected unanimously as the Opposition’s candidate
At a press conference in New Delhi, Congress’s communication chief Jairam Ramesh announced Sinha’s name.
“In the forthcoming Presidential elections, we have decided to elect a common candidate and stop the Modi government from doing further damage. At a subsequent meeting held today, we have chosen Yashwant Sinha as a common candidate. We appeal to all political parties to vote for Yashwant Sinha,” said Jairam Ramesh reading from a joint statement by the opposition.
The joint statement appealed to the BJP and its allies to support the candidature of Mr Sinha so that the nation can have a “worthy Rashtrapati elected unopposed”.
Earlier in the day, Sinha submitted his resignation to TMC from all posts saying, “that he is stepping down for a “greater opposition unity.”
Announcing his resignation, Sinha said, “Now a time has come when for a larger national cause I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity.”
Yashwant Sinha had quit BJP alleging the country’s democracy was a ‘threat’ under the Narendra Modi government.