India nominates female tribal presidential candidate

Al Jazeera provided this. In Raigangpur, Odisha, after being selected as the BJP’s presidential candidate, Droupadi Murmu welcomes visitors.

The nationalist party in power under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has nominated a female legislator from a tribal minority in India to run for president, according to sources.

Political analysts predict that Droupadi Murmu, 64, a seasoned politician who has held important positions in the eastern state of Odisha, will be elected because Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a majority in parliament and is likely to receive support from other parties in state assemblies.

At the BJP’s parliamentary board meeting on Tuesday, which was presided over by Modi, Murmu was selected. According to the party’s president J. P. Nadda, the future president ought to be a tribal woman.

The president of India, a primarily ceremonial position, is chosen by members of parliament and state legislatures. On July 18, there will be voting.

In the eastern part of the state of Odisha, Murmu was born into a Santhal tribe household. In the Mayurbhanj district of the state’s Baidaposi village, her father and grandparents served as headmen.

She began her career as a teacher and was very involved in matters pertaining to tribal rights. Later, she entered mainstream politics as the governor of the eastern state of Jharkhand and a BJP legislator.

Murmu “devoted her life to serving society and strengthening the underprivileged, disadvantaged, as well as the marginalized,” according to Modi in a late-night tweet on Tuesday.

He wrote on Facebook, “I am convinced she will be a fantastic president of our country.

Millions of people, especially those who have struggled with poverty and adversity, find immense inspiration in Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji’s life. Our nation will gain enormously from her comprehension of policy issues and sympathetic disposition. — June 21, 2022, Narendra Modi (@narendramodi)

Murmu would become the second woman president in history and the first tribal leader if she were to win the election.

According to journalist and political commentator Arati R. Jerath, the BJP’s decision is “quite brilliant for various reasons.”

One is that no tribal member has ever served as president. For tribal people, who make up a sizable portion of the population, this is a very significant symbolic step, she said.

In addition, due of the large number of tribal MPs and MLAs in parties like the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the decision could lead to conflicts among the opposition. Voting against a tribal lady will be very challenging for those tribal MPs.

Names of opponents Rebel BJP

As their candidate for the presidential election, Indian opposition parties announced that they will support Yashwant Sinha, a BJP renegade.

From 1998 to 2002, Sinha, 84, was the nation’s finance minister under the previous BJP administration. He quit the right-wing party following a divergence with Modi on economic issues in 2018.

Today will mark the inaugural meeting of the Campaign Committee for opposition presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha. (File image) pic.twitter.com/BcCbxDkMFt 22 June 2022 — ANI (@ANI)

After leaving the BJP, Sinha joined the opposition Trinamool Congress party which he again quit after being nominated as the opposition candidate for the Indian president.

“Now a time has come when for a larger national cause I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

According to Jerath, the opposition’s selection of Sinha as their candidate was “an attempt to forge unity among the opposition parties.”

“But what the BJP has succeeded in is that by choosing a tribal woman, it will probably disunite the opposition,” she said.

According to the Indian constitution, the president only serves in a mostly ceremonial capacity while the prime minister and his cabinet exercise executive authority.

However, the president has a crucial role in political crises, such as when a general election is close, by determining which party is best suited to establish a federal government.

From New Delhi, Bilal Kuchay contributed to this article.