Draupadi Murmu, Ex-Jharkhand Guv, Named NDA’s Presidential Candidate; Know All About Her

BJP high command had reportedly sent a message to Murmu regarding her possible candidature and asked her to avoid getting into any controversy till it is announced.

File image: Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu proceeds the oath ceremony as Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hafizul Hassan being sworn in as minister at Raj Bhawan, in Ranchi. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: As India is posed for the Presidential Elections on July 18, the ruling NDA, led by BJP, has named former Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu for the country’s highest constitutional post.

Her name had come up after days of talks about BJP considering Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, and then Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the post.

WATCH: Who Is Draupadi Murmu, India’s First Tribal Presidential Candidate From Odisha

India Ahead had reported in May that the party high command had reportedly sent a message to Murmu regarding her possible candidature and asked her to avoid getting into any controversy till it is announced.

However, this was not the first time that her name has come up. Murmu was among the probable candidates in the last Presidential elections too.

With Draupadi Murmu’s nomination, BJP could be looking to give a message of empowerment of the tribal population in the country. Further, BJP would want to take an edge over the opposition parties by making a woman President. Before this, Congress had made Pratibha Devi Singh Patil the first woman President of the country in 2007.

It has been said that the move was taken keeping in mind the Gujarat Assembly elections scheduled for this year and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, for which BJP is in the process of garnering support for itself. Meanwhile, AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has tried to challenge the BJP by going to the tribal areas of Gujarat as the state heads for polls.

Who Is Draupadi Murmu?

Draupadi Murmu was born on June 20, 1958, in Odisha. Her father’s name was Biranchi Narayan Tudu and she was married to Shyam Charam Murmu. She comes from a Santhal tribal family of Uparbeda village in Kusumi block of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha.

She started her political career in 1997 and since then she has not looked back. Draupadi Murmu was elected councilor in the Rajrangpur district of Odisha in 1997. The same year, Murmu also became the vice-president of the Scheduled Tribes Morcha of the Odisha unit of the BJP.

Before joining politics, Murmu had worked as an honorary assistant teacher at Sri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research, Rairangpur and as a junior assistant in the irrigation department.

Murmu also served as BJP District President of Mayurbhanj from 2002 to 2009 and again in 2013. She has been a two-time BJP MLA in Odisha and was also a Cabinet minister in the Naveen Patnaik government. At that time the coalition government of Biju Janata Dal and BJP was running in Odisha.

The Odisha Legislative Assembly honored Draupadi Murmu with the Neelkanth Award for Best Legislator.

Draupadi Murmu headed the Mayurbhanj district unit of the BJP in Odisha and represented the Rairangpur region in the Odisha Legislative Assembly.

She has also been the first woman governor of Jharkhand. Murmu was administered the oath by Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court Virender Singh.

Draupadi Murmu lost her husband and two sons, but her resolve to work for her community was undeterred. She has 20 years of experience working for the upliftment of the tribal community and is a important tribal face for the BJP.