NDA Presidential Nominee Has Many Firsts To Her Name

| Updated: 22 June, 2022 6:15 am IST
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NDA presidential pick Draupadi Murmu with PM Narendra Modi (file photo)

NEW DELHI: Draupadi Murmu, who has been chosen as the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has many firsts to her name. Once confirmed in the July 18 election, she will become the first tribal woman to hold the top constitutional office of India.

In 2015, she became the first woman to hold the office of the Governor of Jharkhand. As she occupied the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi, she became the first woman from her home state Odisha to become Governor.

And now, she seems to be on her way to scripting another first given the fact that the BJP-led NDA is well placed in the number game. Once elected, she will also become the first person from Odisha to become President of India.

After giving the first Dalit President to the country, the BJP seems to have made a bold political statement by nominating a tribal. Murmu is a seasoned leader from the Santal community, the largest ethnic group in India. Santals form the largest tribal population in Jharkhand with their presence in other states like Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh as well.

Born on June 20, 1958, in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, Murmu started her political career as a councillor in 1997. She became the vice-chairman of the Rairangpur Notified Area Council (NAC). In the same year, she became the vice-president of BJP Scheduled Tribe morcha.

She won Assembly elections from the Rairangpur constituency three years later. She became a minister in the Odisha government when Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and BJP formed the government in the coalition. She was minister of state (independent charge) in departments of transport, commerce, fisheries, and animal husbandry.

Hailing from a humble family, Murmu rose through the ranks struggling with poverty in one of the most remote and underdeveloped districts of India. Battling extreme circumstances, she completed her education with a bachelor’s degree from Ramadevi Women’s College in the capital Bhubaneswar.

Murmu brings with her a rich experience in social service and administration. She worked as a teacher in a centre of Shri Aurobindo Integral Education in Rairangpur without taking any salary. She also worked as a government servant in the irrigation and power department of Odisha.

When she reached the state Assembly, she religiously attended all sessions and discussions of the house and emerged as the star performer as an MLA. She was awarded the Nilakantha Award for the best MLA in 2007 by the Legislative Assembly.

The country will wait eagerly to see its second-ever woman taking oath as the president on July 25.

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