President Election 2022: After getting the support of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, the way for the election of Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu from the NDA side has become even easier. At the same time, without being affected by this entire development, opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha says that this is a battle of ideology and the country does not need a ‘rubber-stamp president’.
With the support of Naveen Patnaik’s party, Murmu, who belongs to the Santhal community of Odisha, has nearly 52 per cent votes (about 5,67,000 votes). There are a total of 10,86,431 votes for the presidential election. Out of these possible votes for Murmu, 3,08,000 votes are from the BJP and its allies. On the other hand, the BJD has about 32,000 votes, which is about 2.9 percent of the total vote value.
BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requested all the members of the state assembly to support 64-year-old Murmu in the elections to be held on July 18. Patnaik, who is currently on a trip to Italy, appealed to support Murmu, describing her as the daughter of Odisha.
At the same time, before leaving for Bhubaneswar on Wednesday morning, Murmu swept the Shiv temple in the tribal-dominated Rairangpur of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district in the early hours. After retiring from the post of Jharkhand governor in August 2021, sweeping the temple in the early hours had become a part of Murmu’s routine.
Like other days, Murmu worshiped in the temple after bathing and uttered his wishes in Nandi’s ears. It is worth noting that after BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda’s name was announced by the National Democratic Alliance as the presidential candidate on Tuesday night, the Central Government has provided him Z-plus security.
Murmu will be the country’s first tribal and youngest president if elected, and is expected to win regional parties like AIADMK and YSR Congress, he said.
It is expected that Murmu will file her nomination papers on June 24 and during this time various senior leaders of NDA including Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present with her. At the same time, Yashwant Sinha, the presidential candidate from the opposition, will fill the form on June 27. On Wednesday, they held a meeting related to her first election campaign strategy at the NCP’s office in Delhi.
Talking to reporters, 84-year-old Sinha said that the presidential election is not a personal battle but it is an issue related to the country.
Sinha, who broke away from the BJP in 2018, has always been a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi-led government and says, “I am grateful to all the political parties that gave me an opportunity in the presidential election. This election is not my personal battle. The electoral college has to decide on the basis of the issues before the country.”
“We will go to different places of the country for campaigning… We are strategizing for that. I congratulate Draupadi Murmu, but this election is not ‘I versus her’, it is an ideological contest. The country should not have a rubber-stamp president.
In the meeting held on Wednesday related to Sinha’s election strategy, Jairam Ramesh (Congress), K. Of. Leaders like Shastri (NCP) and Sudheendra Kulkarni attended. Later in a statement, Sinha said that if elected President, he would uphold the basic values and ideas of the Constitution without fear or favour.
He alleged that amid the attacks on the federal structure of the Constitution, the central government was trying to take away the statutory rights and powers of the state governments, which would be completely unacceptable.
He said that if elected as the President, he will raise voice for farmers, workers, unemployed youth and deprived sections. BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda also held a meeting with the party leaders involved in the election process.
It is likely that both Murmu and Sinha will tour the country before the elections and try to garner the support of public representatives and political parties in their respective favour. The BJP has taken everyone by surprise by choosing Murmu, the former Jharkhand governor, as the successor of President Ram Nath Kovind and it seems that it has managed to attract people with this move. Significantly, the current President Kovind belongs to the Dalit community while Murmu comes from the tribal Santhal community.
BJP has a clear lead
According to the latest figures, the BJP has a total of 393 members out of a total of 776 members of both the houses of the Parliament. These do not include the four nominated members of the Rajya Sabha because they cannot vote in the presidential election. In this respect, BJP has a clear edge.
On the other hand, if the number of MPs from the National Lok Janshakti Party, Apna Dal and the regional and allied parties of the Northeast are added, apart from the 21 MPs of Janata Dal (United), then the BJP candidate reaches a stronger position.
The value of votes of the members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha is around 700. There are total 4033 MLAs in the states. The vote of these MLAs is determined according to the state. The election for the presidency is to be held on July 18. Nominations for this can be filled by June 29 and the election results will be announced by July 21. President Kovind’s term ends on July 24.