Prez polls: Droupadi Murmu set for comfortable win with BJD, YSRCP’s backing

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led ruling National Democratic Alliance has 49% or 5,32,351 of the 1086431 votes in electoral college for the presidential election
Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. (AP)
Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. (AP)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 01:02 PM IST
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BySmriti Kak Ramachandran & Saubhadra Chatterjee

UPDATE: Droupadi Murmu files nomination in PM Modi's presence

Droupadi Murmu, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s nominee for the July 18 presidential election, is set for a comfortable victory as parties like the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) have backed the former Jharkhand governor’s candidature.

The NDA has 49% or 5,32,351 of the 1086431 votes in the electoral college for the presidential election. BJD has 31,686 votes, YSRCP 45,550 and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 14,940 votes. Support of either BJD or YRSCP is enough for Murmu, who is set to be the first tribal president, to win.

The NDA is also banking on support from the Jharkhand Mukti Morch (JMM), a Scheduled Tribe (ST)-led party. JMM is likely to break ranks with the coalition of opposition parties, which has named former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha as its candidate. Murmu belongs to the Santhal Tribe.

BJP leaders said parties such as Shiromani Akali Dal, Telugu Desam Party and Bahujan Samaj Party are also likely to back Murmu.

“There has been a very positive response to her nomination. Many leaders across party lines have appreciated the NDA’s decision to nominate a humble leader, who comes from an impoverished background and rose to great heights. It would not be a surprise if other parties considered anti-BJP also decide to support her,” said a BJP leader, requesting anonymity.

READ: PM Modi meets Droupadi Murmu, says her nomination lauded by all

The leader added there is also a possibility of cross-voting for Murmu as presidential elections are held through secret ballot and lawmakers are not bound by party whip.

NDA was short of the required majority by about 20,000 votes and was counting on friendly parties such as BJD to support its nominee. YSRCP, which is outside the NDA fold, is also counted as a friendly party.

The BJP leader said the NDA may also get support from Shiv Sena’s Ekanth Shinde-led camp, which has revolted against Maharashtra chief minister Udhav Thackeray and plunged his government into crisis.

The electoral college for the presidential election comprises 543 Lok Sabha, 233 Rajya Sabha and 4,033 members of legislative assemblies. The total value of the parliamentarians’ votes is 5,43,200, and that of assembly members 5,43,231, totalling 1086431.

NDA is the largest group in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, but it still needs support from smaller parties and independents to secure a win. The BJP is in power in 18 states. It has 5,32,351 out of 1086431 votes.

READ: Puducherry Congress says Droupadi Murmu will be 'dummy prez'

Chief minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik asked all Odisha legislators to vote for Murmu cutting across party lines. “...extend unanimous support to elect the daughter of Odisha...”

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s statement welcoming Murmu’s nomination has ended speculation about the impact strained ties between the BJP and his Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) could have on the presidential election. The JD (U) and BJP have been sparring over the government’s new recruitment policy for the armed forces.

A second BJP leader said they were concerned that Kumar may consider breaking away from NDA as he has done in the past. In 2012, JD U) backed Pranab Mukherjee even as it was a part of NDA .

Kumar called it a matter of great pride and happiness that a tribal woman has been nominated. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi called and informed him about the nomination.

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Monday, June 27, 2022