Presidential Polls: Why did BJP field Draupadi Murmu against Yashwant Sinha

BJP-led NDA on Tuesday fielded former Jharkhand Governor and tribal leader Draupadi Murmu as its presidential candidate for the upcoming elections. The announcement comes hours after opposition parties including the Congress, the NCP and the TMC picked former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha as their candidate.

“For the first time, preference has been given to a woman tribal candidate. We announce Draupadi Murmu as NDA’s candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections, “BJP chief JP Nadda said during a press conference while making the announcement.

Meanwhile, praising the Murmu, PM Modi took to Twitter to say, Millions of people, especially those who have experienced poverty and faced hardships, derive great strength from the life of Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji. Her understanding of policy matters and compassionate nature will greatly benefit our country.

Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji has devoted her life to serving society and empowering the poor, downtrodden as well as the marginalized, PM added.

Why did BJP field Draupadi Murmu against Yashwant Sinha?

Political pundits touted this as a smart move on BJP’s part. They say, in the context of the presidential elections, Murmu has a higher chance of being elected against Yashwant Sinha considering she is a woman and comes from a humble tribal background.

If elected, Murmu will become the first tribal president of India and the second woman president in the country.

Murmu’s selection as the presidential candidate is in line with NDA’s thought process which picked Ramnath Kovind as its President face in 2017. Kovind hails from a small Koli community of Uttar Pradesh, born in a farmer’s mud house and he became India’s second Dalit President.

Who is Draupadi Murmu?

64-year-old Draupadi Murmu started her political career as a councilor, and later became the Vice-Chairperson of Rairangpur National Advisory Council. She was also the first woman Governor of Jharkhand.

She was also a minister in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet when the BJD ruled the state with the BJP support.

Murmu was also considered for the post during the 2017 presidential elections. However, then Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind was fielded by the BJP-led NDA as its presidential candidate.

The NDA meeting regarding the presidential candidacy on Tuesday was attended by PM Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda and others.

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