India elects tribal candidate Droupadi Murmu as president | Elections News

Murmu’s election to a largely ceremonial role is seen as a certainty given the strength of the ruling BJP and its allies in parliament and state assemblies.

Droupadi Murmu, a woman from India’s ethnic minority, has been elected as the country’s president by lawmakers.

The 64-year-old politician, from the Santhal tribe, secured the position largely ceremonially with the support of more than half of the congressional voters and state legislators, a result partly led by the commission. Election board announced the show.

More than 4,500 state and federal lawmakers voted in Monday’s presidential election, and the ballots were tallied on Thursday. Murmu’s victory is assured because she has the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Nationalist Party (BJP), the party that dominates federal and state politics.

Modi visited his teacher turned politician in New Delhi and gave her a bouquet of flowers. He also tweeted his congratulations, saying “her exemplary success motivates every Indian”.

“She has emerged as a ray of hope for our citizens, especially the poor, marginalized and oppressed.”

Murmu’s closest rival, the opposition-backed Yashwant Sinha – a former BJP member and former Foreign and Finance Minister – also tweeted his congratulations.

“India hopes that as the 15th President of the Republic, she will act as the custodian of the Constitution without fear or favor,” Sinha wrote.

Murmu will be the country’s second female president after Pratibha Patil, who has held the post for five years since 2007, and succeeds Ram Nath Kovind, the second president of the Dalit community, the bottom class of the country. Hindu caste system.

Born in the Mayurbhanj district of the eastern US state of Odisha, the president-elect began his career as a teacher before entering politics.

She has held ministerial posts in the state government and was governor of the neighboring state of Jharkhand.

“As a tribal woman from the remote Mayurbhanj district, I didn’t think about being a candidate for the top spot,” she told reporters shortly after her nomination this month.

Her election was seen as the BJP’s outreach to India’s tribal communities, which make up more than 8% of its 1.4 billion people.

“The BJP will want to offset any opposition from the past 10 years by 2024, and one of the ways to do that is to go to a new voting facility,” political columnist Neerja Chowdhury told. Reuters news agency.

But the presidency is largely ceremonial and her election is not expected to make any significant practical difference to the tribal community, which has long been marginalized. festival.

Activist Dayamani Barla told AFP news agency: “We have been on the path of fighting for tribal rights since the 90s.

“No matter what agenda the BJP… has to place a politician from a tribal community in the presidency, she will only be able to do anything if she is allowed to use her pen me.”

The prime minister and cabinet hold executive power in India, although the head of state can submit some bills to parliament for review and also help in the formation of the government.

“Getting into a seat isn’t as big of a deal as it has the power to really use your position,” says Barla.

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