2022 Presidential Election: Yashwant Sinha is making the mistake of captain Lakshmi Sehgal in standing in front of Draupadi Murmu

Draupadi Murmu belongs to the Santhal tribe.

Image credit source: Photo file

BJP wants to cultivate more than 100 tribal-dominated Lok Sabha seats across the country making Draupadi Murmu the president. However, he had won the majority in Lok Sabha’s last election. But by betting on Murmu, he wants to further strengthen that leadership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is always known for his shocking decisions. But when BJP president JP Nadda announced Draupadi Murmu’s name as a presidential candidate, no one was surprised. There was already speculation that this time the BJP could bet on a tribal candidate for the country’s highest constitutional post. In the end the same thing happened. Yashwant Sinha will be in front of Murmu as a joint opposition candidate. These elections are just a formality. If there is no major political upheaval, Murmu will surely be the first female tribal president in the country.

Who is Draupadi Murmu

Draupadi Murmu comes from the largest tribal community in the country, the Santhals. If Murmu, 64, wins the presidential election, she will be the youngest to be elected to the highest office. Born on June 20, 1958 into an Odisha tribal family, Murmu was in government service before joining politics. She first stayed in the secretariat, then became a teacher. His political journey began in 1997, when he won the Nagar Panchayat election. Murmu, who was associated with the BJP for almost two decades, had a great responsibility for the first time in 2000. He was appointed minister of the BJD-BJP coalition government in Odisha. During this time, he led the work of two ministries.

Gradual increase in height in BJP

Draupadi Murmu’s stature in the BJP gradually increased. In fact, winning the assembly election in 2009, despite the BJP breaking the alliance with the BJD, was a major milestone in his political career. Since then, his stature within the BJP has steadily increased. The party’s high command also showed a lot of confidence in him. She was a member of the national executive of the BJP Adivasi Morcha from 2013 to 2015. After the formation of the Modi government in the Center in 2014, she was appointed governor of Jharkhand in 2015. She was the first tribal woman to go assume this responsibility. Since becoming governor, it has been speculated that he would run for president in the future. It happened like that.

What is the political meaning of making Murmu the presidential candidate?

BJP has tried to give a great political message by making Draupadi Murmu its presidential candidate. It means that all sectors of society receive the same respect for their party. Last time, this was the purpose of making Ram Nath Kovind the president of the Dalit society. He also benefited from it somewhere and despite being labeled ‘Savarna Party’, he also got a significant number of Dalit votes. BJP wants to give an important message by making Adivasi president immediately after Dalit. That is, BJP is committed to the development of the lower strata of society and wants to give them due respect for society. This is also the basic mantra of the Sangh Parivar to unite the larger Hindu society. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been constantly talking about raising the person who is at the lowest level of society.

BJP dominance will increase in tribal society

BJP wants to cultivate more than 100 tribal-dominated Lok Sabha seats across the country making Murmu the president. However, he had won the majority in Lok Sabha’s last election. But by betting on Murmu, he wants to further strengthen that leadership. Murmur comes from Odysha. At the same time, this will increase the pressure on Jharkhand’s chief minister, Hemant Soren, to support Murmu, because Hemant’s party is also doing tribal politics. Because of Murmu, the BJP may also benefit from the 2024 Odisha assembly elections. The BJP has been marginalized in state politics since the break-up of the alliance with the BJD. By giving the country the first tribal president, BJP wants to strengthen its dominance in the tribal states of Odysha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and the northeastern states.

What is the math of Murmu’s victory?

In fact, in the presidential election, NDA cannot win solely on the basis of its votes. He has 5,26,420 votes. While for the victory 5,349,420 votes are needed. Thus, it has a deficit of about 13,000 votes. Odysha’s chief minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik announced their support as soon as the NDA announced Draupadi Murmu’s candidacy for the presidency. Thus his 31,000 votes went to the NDA account. Apart from that, it is likely that NDA will also get the support of the YSR Congress. He has 43,000 votes. It will not be possible for Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, who does politics on behalf of the tribes, to oppose Murmu. He has about 20,000 votes. In this way, Draupadi Murmu is seen winning the presidential election by about 80,000 votes.

Modi made a dent in the opposition camp

However, the opposition was making a dent in the NDA and was hitting it in the presidential election. Mamta Banerjee was struggling to make ends meet. Although many parties were not with him. Prime Minister Modi has created a stir in the opposition camp by bringing down Draupadi Murmu. As soon as Draupadi’s name came out, Naveen Patnaik supported her. In fact, it has been a tradition in Indian politics that the regional parties of the state of which the ruling party has a candidate for the presidency support it. In 2007, as soon as the name of Pratibha Singh Patil appeared on behalf of the then UPA government, BJP ally Shiv Sena had announced his support. Similarly, as soon as the name of Pranab Mukherjee was decided as the UPA candidate in 2012, Mamata Banerjee and the Left parties supported him.

Many more matches can support

Draupadi Murmu’s margin of victory may increase further. Many more parties can support him. Significantly, in 1997, the country’s first Dalit president was elected unanimously. At that time there was a United Front government in the Center. Inder Kumar Gujral was the prime minister. KR Narayanan was the vice president. The government decided to give the country the first Dalit president in the form of KR Narayan. Congress, which at the time supported the government, supported it. The main opposition party BJP also supported him. In this way the first Dalit president of the country was elected unanimously. However, BJP’s attempt was also to elect the first president Dalit Adivasi unanimously. But he failed to reach a consensus on behalf of Draupadi Murmu. It would have been better if the decision to elevate a person from the lower strata of society to the highest constitutional position in the country would have been unanimous. Faced with this, many more opposition camp parties can support Draupadi Murmu. Congress can also announce its support. Parties like Aam Aadmi Party, Akali Dal can also come with NDA in their support.

Did Mamta hurry?

Mamta Banerjee is also said to have been in too much of a hurry to announce the name of the common opposition candidate even before the name of the ruling party’s presidential candidate. Yashwant Sinha, the joint opposition candidate led by Mamta Banerjee, comes from Jharkhand. Jharkhand is an area dominated by tribes. Supporters of the presidential election unanimously believe that Yashwant Sinha should withdraw from the electoral field to become Draupadi Murmu as president.

It could also have happened that if Draupadi Murmu’s name had come out before the NDA side, Yashwant Sinha could have refused to become an opposition candidate like Farooq Abdullah and Gopal Krishna Gandhi. However, after the name Draupadi Murmu appeared, there is a lot of commotion in the opposition camp. Yashwant Singha is sure to lose the election. It will be interesting to see what option he chooses between losing the election by a large margin and respectfully moving away from the path of the country’s first tribal president.

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However, after the announcement of the names of the presidential candidates from both the ruling party and the opposition, the chances of a unanimous presidential election are negligible. There will be elections, but it will be a simple procedure, not a thorny contest. As in 2002, after the name of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam came out on the side of the NDA, all opposition parties including Congress supported him. The left-wing parties were then left alone with their candidate, Captain Lakshmi Sehgal. At that time, Captain Lakshmi Sehgal only got about 55,000 votes. It is possible that in this presidential election, Mamta Banerjee may also be alone with her candidate and Yashwant Sinha may also have the same status as Captain Lakshmi Sehgal in 2002 before APJ Dr Abdul Kalam. (The author is a senior journalist, the opinions expressed in the article are personal of the author).

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