Droupadi Murmu becomes India’s 15th President

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Draupadi Murmu

National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Droupadi Murmu is elected as India’s 15th President on Thursday, beating Opposition’s candidate Yashwant Sinha.

Murmu is the first person from the tribal community and the second woman to occupy the country’s topmost constitutional post.

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An official announcement on her win is expected after all votes are counted but she has already got 5,77,777 votes, which is more than the halfway mark of the total valid votes cast in the election on July 18.

Returning Officer P C Mody announced that Murmu has already received over 53 per cent of the total valid votes. Ballots from 10 states and Union territories are being still counted.

In every round of counting so far, she has received more than two-third votes.

Sources said 17 MPs from opposition parties have cross-voted in her support.

Celebrations break out outside NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu’s residence in Delhi as she crosses the 50% mark of the total valid votes at the end of the third round of counting in the election.

The voting ended at 5 pm at the Parliament House and at designated places in the capitals of all states besides the UTs of Puducherry and Delhi on Monday.

Of the 736 electors comprising 727 MPs and nine MLAs who were permitted by the Election Commission to vote at Parliament House, 728 electors cast their vote. This includes 719 MPs and nine MLAs. The total turnout at Parliament House was 98.91 per cent.

Incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind’s tenure ends on July 24 and Droupadi Murmu will take oath on July 25.

The opposition’s candidate Yashwant Sinha conceded his defeat and congratulated Droupadi Murmu on her victory and hoped that she functions as Custodian of the Constitution ‘without fear or favour’.

About Droupadi Murmu

Murmu has previously served as the Jharkhand Governor for six years. She was sworn in as the Governor of the state on May 18, 2015, and served it for 6 years and 48 days. However, in July 2021 she left for her native city Rairangpur (Odisha) after completing her term as the Governor of Jharkhand.

Exactly a year later, the ruling NDA alliance nominated her for the country’s highest constitutional post. Aside from the NDA, regional parties like the BJD, the YSRCP, the BSP, the AIADMK, the TDP, the JD(S), the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Shiv Sena, and the JMM supported the nomination.

Born on June 20, 1958 in Odisha to a simple Santhal tribal family, she started her political career in 1997 being elected as the Councillor of the district board in Rairangpur, Odisha.

Prior to joining politics, she had worked as an honorary assistant teacher at Sri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research, Rairangpur, and as a junior assistant in Odisha Irrigation Department before joining politics.

Murmu was elected twice as an MLA in Odisha and also got a chance to work as a Minister in the Naveen Patnaik government when the BJD-BJP coalition government was in power.

She was also awarded the Neelkanth Award for being the best legislator by the Odisha Legislative Assembly.

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