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Who is Draupadi Murmu? Will She Be India’s Next President?

Draupadi Murmu is a tribal woman leader and is backed by the BJP for the presidential race.

By I Kid You Not , in Current Stories , at June 29, 2022 Tags: ,

Who is Draupadi Murmu

She is the BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party’s) candidate for the upcoming presidential polls in July – meaning she is the NDA’s (National Democratic Alliance’s) nominee.

Why is she in the news?

Draupadi Murmu is a tribal woman leader and is backed by the BJP for the presidential race.

If elected, the 64-year-old Murmu will make history as the first tribal woman to become the President of India.

Who is she contesting against?

She is contesting against 84-year-old Yashwant Sinha – a former IAS officer who has twice been India’s Finance Minister and a Minister of External Affairs.

About Draupadi Murmu

She belongs to the Santali tribe of Odisha. Santals are the largest tribe in the state of Jharkhand, and are considered the more progressive of all tribal groups,

Early life

Born on June 20, 1958, the 64-year-old tribal leader hails from Baidaposi village of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. Her father Biranchi Narayan Tudu and her grandfather had both been panchayat heads. Draupadi Murmu was the first woman governor of Jharkhand and served a full tenure from 2015 to 2021. 

Education

She was schooled in her village at KB HS Uparbeda- Mayurbhanj till grade 7, and later moved to the state capital, Bhubaneswar for higher studies. She secured a Bachelor in Arts from Rama Devi Women’s College, Bhubaneswar. 

A lesser-known fact is that her grandmother played a big role in her education. She believed in the upliftment of tribal women, hence encouraging Ms. Murmu to study further despite a financial crunch. It was her grandmother’s advice that made Droupadi Murmu enter the state capital for education.  

Having been born into a tribal family she has known what it is like growing up in the most poverty-stricken districts of India. According to Ms. Murmu, she didn’t anticipate her political journey – all she wanted was financial independence to support her family and herself. 

Political contributions 

  • The two-time Odisha MLA began her political career as the vice-chairman of the Rairangpur NAC (Notified Area Council) – a political unit comparable to the municipality – after winning the election as a BJP contestant in 1997.  
  • She served as the national vice-president of Bharatiya Janata Party ‘Scheduled Tribes Morcha’.
  • She was honoured with Nilkantha Award for the Best MLA in 2007 by the Legislative Assembly of Odisha 
  • She has served in multiple positions including…
    • Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transport
    • Fisheries and Animal Resources Development
    • Governor of Odisha

To sum it up, she has diverse administrative experience having handled ministries such as transport, commerce, fisheries, and animal husbandry in the Odisha government.

Her notable contributions to the tribal community include resisting changes in CNT and SNT acts (these acts safeguard the tribal lands) against the then chief minister of Odisha.

Life before entering politics

In an interview with Doordarshan, the presidential nominee disclosed how she was forced to quit her job after having children, as most mothers do. After her children grew up Ms. Murmu re-started her career with an honorary teaching job at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research centre. She also partook in social work.

Her political journey started as a result of that. As she visited villages in sincere efforts toward the social and cultural development of tribal communities, she was advised to enter politics. She joined the BJP in 1997 believing that politics can help you do more for people than you want to.

The results of the presidential polls are yet to be declared but to know more about the procedure check out How is the President of India elected?  

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