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Droupadi Murmu is India’s 15th and current president. She is also a former Odisha cabinet minister and former Jharkhand governor. Murmu was born into a humble family in a remote village of Mayurbhanj, an Odisha tribal district, and had previously worked as an assistant teacher at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre in Rairangpur and junior assistant in the Odisha state irrigation department. Let us discover her extraordinary journey from being an assistant teacher to the president of India.
The history of Droupadi Murmu
When Murmu was born in the Odisha district of Mayurbhanj in 1958, there was no indication that she would end up at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. She completed her education at Bhubaneswar’s Unit II High School and Rama Devi College (now university).
Because she was a tribal lady, her life had always been difficult and full of obstacles. Not only did she have to deal with societal tyranny, but she also had to deal with a series of personal tragedies and setbacks. She was a teacher for a while before stepping foot in state politics.
Draupadi Murmu joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1997. She was the first woman to be appointed Governor of Jharkhand. She is also the first Indian woman to hold the prestigious position of tribal chief.
The life of Droupadi Murmu was far from easy. She was the mother of two sons, one of who died in 2013. Her other son died in 2009. The loss is unimaginable for a mother, but she faced these difficult situations head-on. She accepted in an interview that she suffered from depression following the death of her sons.
Now she lives with her only daughter, Itishree Murmu, a bank employee, and her son-in-law, Ganesh Hembram, a rugby player.
Droupadi Murmu’s political career
- Draupadi’s political career began in 1997 when she was elected as a councilor for the Rairangpur district in Odisha.
- She also became Rairangpur’s Vice-Chairperson in the same year. She served her duties for a year.
- She served as the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation from 6 March 2000 to 6 August 2002, and Fisheries and Animal Resources Development from 6 August 2002 to 16 May 2004 during the BJP-BJD coalition government in Odisha.
- She won the Rairangpur assembly seat for the BJP in 2004, and this time she was chosen to represent the party.
- She was elected as the State President of the BJP Scheduled Tribe Morcha and the District President of the BJP in Mayurbhanj in 2006. She served in the position from 2006 to 2009.
- In May 2015, she was elected as the ninth Governor of Jharkhand, a position she held until May 2021.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominated her to run for President of India in the 2022 elections.
Droupadi Murmu vs. Yashwant Sinha
Yashwant Sinha was an equally strong candidate for the 2022 presidential election. A former IAS officer and a veteran politician, Sinha, also had a chance of winning the elections. Here are some highlights from the election day.
- On July 18, all elected MLAs and MPs voted for Ram Nath Kovind’s successor between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 31 locations, including the Parliament House and 30 state legislative assembly centers.
- The Election Commission aided 736 electors, including 727 MPs and nine MLAs, to vote at Parliament House, and 728 of them did so. The overall turnout at Parliament House was 98.91 percent.
- The Madhya Pradesh Congress is divided after the NDA’s Presidential candidate Droupdi Murmu received 146 votes in the state Assembly, compared to the Opposition’s Yashwant Sinha, who received only 79 votes.
- This is even though Congress has 96 MLAs in the House of 230. However, with five votes declared invalid, Murmu received 146 of the 225 remaining votes, implying that at least 19 MLAs crossed-voted, including 11 from Congress.
- Ms. Murmu received 2,824 votes after four rounds of voting, while Mr. Sinha received 1,877 votes.
- She received 64.03% of all valid votes cast, far more than what was openly declared in her favor, indicating that there had been a significant amount of cross-voting in Ms. Murmu’s favor from the Opposition ranks.
When Murmu and Sinha were head-on, the whole Indian republic was waiting impatiently for the results. With such intellectual people in the race, it was a tough choice between them.
Droupadi Murmu’s historic win
Murmu, 64, defeated Sinha by an overwhelming margin after receiving more than 64% of valid votes in a day-long counting of ballots cast by MPs and MLAs comprising the electoral college to become the country’s 15th president.
After more than ten hours of counting, returning officer P C Mody declared Murmu the winner, as she received 6,76,803 votes to Sinha’s 3,80,177 votes.
Even though ballots from 10 states and Union territories were still being counted, Murmu’s victory was sealed after the third round, when the returning officer announced that she had received more than 53% of the total votes.
Sinha conceded defeat after the third round of counting and congratulated Murmu, saying that every Indian hoped that as the 15th president, she would act without fear or favor as the ‘custodian of the constitution.’
Droupadi Murmu’s rise from the tribal lands of western Odisha to become the country’s first citizen is a shining example of Indian democracy’s success.
- Droupadi Murmu is India’s first tribal president. She is also the youngest president India has had in years.
- Droupadi Murmu was a great governor as well as a devoted mother. She never left any stone unturned regarding her work and family.
- Murmu won the presidential elections by a staggering 6,76,803 votes and defeated the former IAS Yashwant Sinha, who received 3,80,177 votes.
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Q1. Is Draupadi Murmu a part of Brahma Kumaris?
Ans- Murmu is a dedicated follower of the Brahma Kumaris’ meditation techniques. She discovered these techniques after losing loved ones.
Q2. Who is the first woman president of India?
Ans- Pratibha Patil, born December 19, 1934, is India’s 12th President. She is the first woman to hold this position.
Q3. Who is the only female prime minister of India?
Ans-Indira Gandhi was the first female Prime Minister of India.