Droupadi Murmu, a tribal leader from the eastern state of Odisha, will be the 15th president of the Republic of India.
The 64-year-old’s name was declared today (July 21) following an election in which all Indian lawmakers and legislators voted. Murmu will take the oath of office on July 25, a day after president Ram Nath Kovind tenure ends.
She will be the second woman to hold the country’s highest office. Pratibha Patil was the first.
Earlier, on July 18, nearly 4,800 members of parliament and the various legislative assemblies (MPs and MLAs) voted in the presidential election. Murmu was the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led ruling National Democratic Alliance. The opposition’s candidate was Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP leader and union minister.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the 77-year-old grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and a diplomat-turned-politician, dropped out early in the race.
Who is Droupadi Murmu?
Murmu will be the first adivasi (aborigine) woman to become India’s president. She earlier served as governor of the state of Jharkhand (2015-21).
Her political stint began in 1997 in Odisha. After serving as vice-president of the BJP Scheduled Tribes Morcha, a BJP-affiliated welfare organisation, she was elected MLA twice from Odisha’s Rairangpur in 2000 and 2009.
She was also a minister in the Biju Janata Dal-BJP coalition government in Odisha and held the commerce and transport portfolios, and then that of the fisheries and animal resources department.
On her nomination for the president’s post, prime minister Narendra Modi expressed his confidence that she will be a “great president.”
Celebrations for Droupadi Murmu
Murmu’s election hasn’t come as a surprise for most. In Odisha, celebrations began much early over her win.