New Delhi: Outgoing President of India Ram Nath Kovind will address the nation on Sunday on the eve of demitting office, the President’s Secretariat informed. The address will be broadcast from 19:00 hours on the entire national network of All India Radio (AIR) and telecast over all channels of Doordarshan.
Draupadi Murmu was elected to be the next President of India on Friday after she comprehensively defeated the opposition’s presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha. She will take oath at the Central Hall of Parliament on Monday.
Murmu, 64, won by a thumping margin, garnering over 64 per cent valid votes. She will succeed Ram Nath Kovind to become the country’s 15th president. Murmu will be the first person from a tribal background to take the office.
Murmu is likely to take oath on July 25 with incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind’s tenure ending on July 24. Murmu, a 64-year-old, also becomes just the second woman to take over the role. Her candidature also created a divide in the opposition camp.
The JMM party in Jharkhand extended support to her due to her tribal credentials. A few other tribal MPs and MLAs cutting across party lines also voted for her.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in congratulating Murmu and visited her residence in Delhi to wish her. “India scripts history. At a time when 1.3 billion Indians are marking Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a daughter of India hailing from a tribal community born in a remote part of eastern India has been elected our President. Congratulations to Smt Droupadi Murmu ji on this feat,” he said on Twitter.
Murmu will be only the second woman to become President, after Pratibha Patil. Belonging to the Santhal tribe of Odisha, she hails from the Mayurbhanj region of the state. She started out as a teacher and then became a junior assistant in the irrigation department, before entering politics. She served as a minister in the BJD-BJP government in Odisha and held the fisheries, animal resource development, commerce and transport portfolios.
Years later, she became the Governor of Jharkhand from 2015 to 2021, the first tribal woman to do so. Sinha conceded defeat and congratulated Murmu for winning the election.
In a statement, he said, “I hope – indeed, every Indian hopes – that as the 15th President of India she functions as the custodian of the Constitution without fear or favour. I join my fellow countrymen in extending best wishes to her.”
The governor said his contesting served two purposes, that of bringing the opposition parties on a common platform and of highlighting major issues like the “blatant and rampant weaponisation of ED, CBI, Income Tax and even the office of governor against opposition parties and their leaders”.