National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu on Saturday visited Puducherry to seek support from the legislators of the ruling AINRC-led coalition in the Union Territory. She met Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy and sought support for her candidature in the presidential election.
On Friday, Shiromani Akali Dal, which used to be an ally of the BJP, announced that it will support NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu in the presidential elections. The BJP-led NDA had declared Droupadi Murmu as the presidential candidate on June 21. Last month, Murmu had made calls to senior opposition leaders including Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to seek their support.
Murmu has also got support from Biju Janta Dal as well as YSR Congress. BJP chief JP Nadda had also reached out to leaders of some opposition parties in an effort to build consensus on Murmu's candidature. He spoke to Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah and former Prime Minister and JDS leader HD Deve Gowda. The elections for the President of India will take place on July 18 and the results will be out on July 21. The term of President Ram Nath Kovind concludes on July 24.
Droupadi Murmu is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance. She continues to break barriers and was the first woman governor of Jharkhand. She served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021. Born in a poor tribal family in a village of Mayurbhanj, a backward district in Odisha, Droupadi Murmu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She taught at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur.
Born on June 20, 1958, she pursued BA at Ramadevi Women's College Bhubaneswar. She started her political career as Rairangpur NAC vice-chairman. Droupadi Murmu was a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Rairangpur between 2000 and 2004. As a minister, she held portfolios of Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. She again served as MLA in the Odisha assembly from 2004 to 2009.