Draupadi Murmu is India’s new President. She defeated the opposition candidate, Yashwant Sinha, in the election, becoming the 15th President of India. The results were announced on Thursday (July 21) Murmu, 64, is the country’s first Adivasi and the second woman to be named First Citizen and Supreme Commander of India’s Armed Forces.
Here are some facts about the new Rashtrapati Bhavan occupant, who takes office in the nation’s historic 75th year of independence.
Concerning her life
Murmu has been a trailblazer since she was a child. She was the first girl in Uparbeda, one of the seven revenue villages in Uparbeda panchayat, when she was born in 1958 to a Santhal family,to attend Ramadevi Women’s College, now known as Ramadevi Women’s University in Bhubaneswar.
Murmu worked as a teacher at the Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre in Rairangpur, Mayurbhanj, before entering politics. She later worked as a junior assistant in the Odisha government’s irrigation and power department.
Political career success
Murmu was elected to the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat as a councillor in 1997. She was elected to the Odisha Assembly twice, in 2000 and 2004, and served as a Minister in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s BJD-BJP coalition government from 2000 to 2004.
In the past, she held the portfolios of Commerce and Transport, and later, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry in the state government. As Odisha’s Transport Minister, she was credited with establishing transport offices in all 58 subdivisions of the state.
Murmu was also a member of the BJP’s Scheduled Tribes Morcha.
Her personal difficulties
Despite a successful political career, Murmu encountered some difficulties. She ran for Lok Sabha from the Mayurbhanj constituency in 2009, but lost because the BJD and BJP severed ties.
Her electoral defeat coincided with a difficult period in her personal life. Over the next six years, she lost three of her closest family members in a series of unfortunate incidents: her eldest son Laxman Murmu in 2009, her younger son Sippun Murmu in 2013, and her husband Shyam Charan Murmu in 2014.
Murmu was sworn in as Jharkhand’s first female governor in 2015.
In November 2016, the state’s BJP government, led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das, amended two centuries-old land laws, the Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act, to allow for the easy transfer of land for industrial use. Following widespread protests by Adivasis who feared the move would limit their land rights, Murmu returned the Bills in June 2017, asking the government to explain how the amendments would benefit tribals.
Murmu gained admiration and respect for her refusal to sign controversial Bills passed by the government of the party to which she had once belonged.
The Adivasi chief
Murmu, a Santhal leader and an inspiration to her community and women in general, has frequently weighed in on Adivasi issues. On November 24, 2018, Governor Murmu stated at an international conference on financial inclusion that, despite efforts by the Jharkhand state government (then led by the BJP) and the Centre to extend the benefits of banking services and other schemes to tribals, the situation of SCs and STs “remains extremely poor.” Murmu also advocated for the translation of Adivasi language and culture literature.
The process of the presidential election-
It is not a direct election, as it is for MLAs and MPs. An electoral college selects the President. And who exactly makes up this electoral college? They come from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, as well as state legislatures and the union territories of Delhi and Puducherry. Members of the Rajya Sabha and state legislative councils are not included in the electoral college.
The votes of electoral college members have a greater weight. For example, each MP’s vote is worth 700 points. In the case of MLAs, the vote value is calculated based on the population of each state, and it varies from one state to the next. In densely populated states such as Uttar Pradesh,an MLA has a vote value of 208, whereas in less populous states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the vote value for an MLA is 8.
Article 55(2) of the Constitution states that every elected member of a State’s Legislative Assembly shall have as many votes as there are multiples of one thousand in the quotient obtained by dividing the State’s population by the total number of elected members of the Assembly. To win the Presidential election, the candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote.
A Presidential candidate seeking nomination must obtain signed approval from 50 proposers and 50 seconders. Members of the electoral college could serve as proposers and seconders.