The NDA has finally announced its choice for the post of President of India, and we must say that it was a bit of a surprise. For a BJP being the major constituent of NDA has always been pushing the Hindutva regime which in some place or the other has a mindset of superiority over the tribal culture. Nevertheless, it seems that they thought that having a tribal President over bringing up the Dalit issue again was much better. In any which ways the country is reeling under bizarre weather changes, floods, rains, economic slowdown, and yet again protests over the Agnipath scheme. Notably, Murmu was Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021 but will that suffice to hold such a high post in the country is what the leaders should have thought. Maybe the BJP wants a soft first citizen that can be easily persuaded for the NDA already enjoys a full majority in both the houses of the parliament. Also, probably this is the first-time people are getting to know that an NDA presidential candidate is decided by the BJP alone.
However, it was disclosed that NDA constituent Janata Dal (U) leader Nitish Kumar was informed of the Murmu candidature before it was let out into the public domain. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made it a point to inform Biju Janata Dal leader and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik of the BJP parliamentary board’s decision to field a Santhal from Odisha for President of India. Reports say that Patnaik couldn’t hide his joy when told of the decision. And why shouldn’t he be as if Murmu gets elected as the ‘First Citizen of India’, it will be a first for Odisha. Murmu has been a two-time Odisha MLA, but it was her governorship of Jharkhand that brought her into the national glare, a fact which also went in her favour. Rest assured Droupadi Murmu will get Odisha’s votes. And if she doesn’t get Jharkhand’s votes, then chief minister Hemant Soren might have to answer to the people of Jharkhand. It is not a secret that Jharkhand has a substantial tribal population, more than enough to make a difference in any political party’s fortunes. Come to think of it, the tribal is a running feature in wide swathes of Telangana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and the Northeast, and no political party can dismiss the tribal as of no account, even in a presidential election.
Meanwhile, for the tribal population of India Droupadi Murmu, will be a feather in the tribal cap even before the votes are cast. Therefore, to believe that ‘20 names’ were considered at the BJP parliamentary board meeting is beyond belief. Most likely Droupadi’s name was decided by Modi days before Modi sat down with BJP president JP Nadda, and Union Home minister Amit Shah, to place the finger on Droupadi Murmu’s name. On the other hand, the combined Opposition’s candidate is Yashwant Sinha, a former Union Finance minister, who once famously told a chief minister, “I can become a politician, but you can never become an IAS!” Sinha is a bureaucrat-turned-politician, and that should explain his cutting-edge dialogue delivery. That Modi and Sinha don’t get along is history! Sinha is often referred to as the “utterly-bitterly Sinha” because of his numerous differences with Modi’s governance style. He was also called “Rollback Sinha” for many of his decisions were compelled to be withdrawn.