At 64, Droupadi Murmu makes history as India’s first tribal, youngest President
Odisha-born Droupadi Murmu, as ruling NDA’s candidate created history by getting elected as India’s first tribal President and the youngest ever to hold the highest constitutional office in the country.
Hailing from Santhal tribe, Droupadi Murmu is 64. She was born at Uparbeda village of Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj, Odisha on June 1958.
Droupadi Murmu secured nearly 64.04 per cent of the cumulative value of the valid votes at the end of four rounds of counting in Parliament House complex to become India’s President and the first ever from eastern part of the country.
Of the 4,754 votes that were polled in the 2022 presidential election held on July 18, 4,701 were declared valid and 53 were declared invalid.
“The said quota was 5,28,491. Murmu secured 2,824 first preference votes with a value of 6,76,803 while Yashwant Sinha got 1,877 first preference votes with value 3,80,177. As the first preference votes secured by (Dropadi) Murmu were greater than the requisite quota… she has been duly elected to the office of the President of India,” said PC Mody, Rajya Sabha secretary general and the returning officer for the election.
Droupadi Murmu’s challenger and Opposition nominee Yashwant Sinha conceded defeat after she won over 50 per cent of the value of counted ballots. Sinha congratulated his rival, hoping she would “function as the custodian of the Constitution without fear or favour”.
The counting revealed evidence of massive cross-voting in favour of Droupadi Murmu with 25 Congress MLAs backing her in Assam. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Droupadi Murmu received 104 votes as against NDA’s strength of 79 in the 126-member Assembly.
Reportedly three MLAs cross-voted for Droupadi Murmu in Punjab.
Also read: India’s 2022 Presidential race hots up
Reports suggest there has been cross-voting in many states including West Bengal, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Some experts believe Droupadi Murmu’s victory could significantly boost the ruling BJP’s electoral prospects ahead of elections in nine states in 2023.
Droupadi Murmu’s political journey
In 1979 after completing her BA degree, Droupadi Murmu worked as junior assistant in Odisha Irrigation Department for 4 years.
Leaving that job, she worked as a school teacher in Rairangpur till 1997.
In 1997 she quit her school teaching job and got elected as area councillor.
Then it was on to her election as an MLA to the state assembly, becoming a minister and also winning the award for best legislator.
From 2015 to 2021, Droupadi Murmu was the first woman Governor of Jharkhand.
PM Narendra Modi congratulated her and hailed the day as “historic.”
Met Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji and congratulated her. pic.twitter.com/ALdJ3kWSLj
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 21, 2022
Droupadi Murmu will take oath on July 25, a day after incumbent Ram Nath Kovind’s term expires. She will become only the second woman after Pratibha Patil to be elected the first citizen of India.