Rama Krishna Sangem
64 years Drouppadi Murmu is all set to become the 16th President of India, if things go well for BJP. She will be the first tribal, Santhals, to occupy the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. She was picked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of course, in consultations with other party and RSS top brass. Former governor of Jharkhand and former Orissa minister, she rose in the ranks of saffron brigade since 1984.
Droupadi’s name was making rounds as the BJP’s Prez choice for the last 3-4 months, but other neutral names like Ratan Tata, Sudha Murthy etc too were in circulation. Finally, the BJP has announced its candidate for he top post at its Parliamentary Board meeting on June 21. As BJP and its allies have enough numbers, Droupadi’s election is certain, thought we cannot rule out possibility of cross-voting – either way.
Murmu will taken on opposition camp candidate former union minister Yashwant Sinha. There is a stark contrast between them. Droupadi hails from a humble Santhal family from Orissa, while Sinha hails from forward caste of Bhumihars. She began her career as a teacher and municipal councilor, while Sinha has civil services background. She was with BJP while Sinha changed many parties – with former PM Chandrasekhar, BJP and TMC (till June 21).
Elevation to Santhals
Santhals are a predominant tribe, with around 75 lakh population in India. They are spread across Orissa, Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and Tripura. They have presence in Bangladesh and Nepal too. Droupadi’s election to the topmost Constitutional post in India will surely be greeted by these tribals. Santhals have close links with another major tribe, Mundas, with strong presence in eastern parts of the country.
BJP expects tribes all over the country too will welcome Murmu’s election to be the Chief of three armed forces of India. Of course, the post of President in India is mostly ceremonial. Unless there is a hung Lok Sabha, the role of the President is minimal. Entire executive functions of the government are carried by the PM and his Cabinet. Like present incumbent Ram Nath Kovind, Murmu too will fully cooperate with Modi government.
Now we will have to see, who will win extra votes, more than their supporting parties’ strength. Murmu and Sinha will start their campaign from June 29, last date for filing nominations and tour the states. As already BJD and YSR Congress have indicated their support to BJP, Sinha will have to struggle to win. His win appears unlikely given the present divided composition of the opposition camp.
Maharashtra developments too will be music to ears of BJP.