New Delhi: The ruling NDA and the Opposition both declared their nominees for the upcoming presidential polls in July, with the BJP’s parliamentary board nominating former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu. The Opposition declared former finance minister Yashwant Sinha as its candidate.
Murmu, who hails from Odisha, becomes the first woman tribal leader to contest for the country’s highest constitutional post. Before this, she also holds the record of being the first tribal woman Governor in the country.
Her tenure as the Governor of Jharkhand for more than 6 years was not only non-controversial but also memorable.
Her selection for the top post can also be a part of the BJP’s strategy to make inroads into the tribal society, which has been a bastion of the Congress so far. The BJP is eyeing upcoming state Assembly elections, and tribals are its main focus area in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh where their votes are crucial for the party’s scheme of things.
After two rounds of deliberations and many informal meetings, the 84-year-old bureaucrat-turned politician Sinha was declared the common candidate of the opposition for the upcoming Presidential elections. He was elected after three public figures — NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, and former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi — refused to contest.
“In his long and distinguished career in public life, Sinha has served the nation in various capacities. An able administrator, accomplished Parliamentarian, and an acclaimed Union Minister of Finance and External Affairs, he is eminently qualified to uphold the secular and democratic character of the Indian republic and its constitutional values,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.
The voting for the Presidential poll is scheduled to be held on July 18 and counting to be held on July 21.