National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate for presidential election Draupadi Murmu said the tribal community was excited by her selection as a candidate for the top constitutional post and promised not to demean the country or the office.
“There are around 100 million tribals with over 700 communities, and all are happy with my nomination,” Murmu said, who could become the first tribal woman to be elected as the President of India.
Addressing a meeting of NDA MPs, Murmu said, “I am thankful to the NDA leadership and all the political parties who supported me and gave me this honour. You all have chosen me for a very important responsibility and I will work to strengthen the democratic values of the country.
“It is a rare honour for me and I assure all of you that I will not let the country or the chair down,” Murmu said.
A Santhal from Odisha, Murmu is set to win comfortably, thanks to the support of several regional parties including BJD, YSRCP, TDP and JMM. LJP leader Chirag Paswan, who opted out of the alliance during the Bihar elections, was present at the NDA meeting along with members of the rival faction of the party founded by his father late Ram Vilas Paswan.
However, both factions of Shiv Sena, who have declared their support to Murmu, didn’t participate in the meeting.
Although her victory was a foregone conclusion, she visited several states and met leaders from across political lines seeking their vote and support.
She had also called on most of the opposition party leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, and Mamata Banerjee and sought their support.
The BJP continued to insist on “flawless voting” by its voters and asked all MPs to participate in a mock voting session on Sunday.
The results of the presidential election will be announced on July 21 and the new president will be sworn in on July 24.