New Delhi: NDA’s pick for president Droupadi Murmu met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Amit Shah here Thursday. It was a day of hectic activity for the tribal leader who flew in from Bhubaneswar in the morning ahead of filing her nomination papers for the post. Droupadi Murmu, the 64-year-old former Jharkhand governor has been the cynosure of attention since she was chosen for the post by the BJP-led NDA earlier this week. Murmu is expected to file her papers Friday in the presence of top leaders, including from the BJD.
Murmu also met a host of other leaders, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president JP Nadda besides Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Modi is tipped to be the first proposer for Murmu. A host of senior BJP leaders, including Union Ministers and functionaries from other parties supporting her bid, are also set to be among the proposers. Her nomination papers were being prepared at the home of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.
Modi said her candidature for the post of president has been appreciated across India by all sections of society.
In a tweet, Modi said: “Met Droupadi Murmu Ji. Her Presidential nomination has been appreciated across India by all sections of society. Her understanding of grassroots problems and vision for India’s development is outstanding.”
Shah also tweeted after meeting Murmu. “Met NDA’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and conveyed best wishes to her. Tribal society is feeling very proud by the announcement of her name. I am sure her administrative and public experience will benefit the whole country,” Shah tweeted in Hindi.
Murmu will meet a host of senior leaders before embarking on a nationwide campaign. She will urge different political parties to support her bid.
Rajnath said Murmu’s life has been dedicated to the empowerment of the downtrodden and expressed confidence that she will play a big role in further strengthening the country and society.
“Had the honour of meeting Droupadi Murmu Ji today. Her Presidential nomination has been a source of joy and inspiration for people throughout the nation. She’s a true visionary with brilliant foresight and a great vision for the development of our country,” Nadda tweeted after meeting the NDA candidate.
If elected, a strong possibility given that she already has the support of a majority in the Electoral College, she will be the first tribal person to be the president of India and the second woman in the post.
Murmu’s candidature has also been endorsed by Meghalaya’s ruling BJP-backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance. A formal decision on the matter will be taken at a meeting of the coalition partners, a senior member said. Five Congress MLAs who were suspended for supporting the MDA are also likely to vote in favour of Murmu.
According to the Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, an RSS affiliate, the NDA’s decision to nominate Murmu, from the Santhal community, is historic. In a statement in Hindi, it said tribal society had to suffer neglect for years despite being an integral part of Indian tradition and culture.
There was dance and music at the Bhubaneswar airport too before Murmu left for Delhi. In a brief statement issued before she took her flight, Murmu said, “I thank all and seek cooperation from everyone for the presidential election. I will meet all voters (lawmakers) and seek their support before July 18.”