President-elect Droupadi Murmu. The arc of triumph forged through personal tragedy is complete for the unassuming politician who started public life as a councillor in Odisha and will be written into history as India’s first tribal president and the second woman in the post.
On Thursday, the former Jharkhand governor and the BJP-led NDA’s presidential candidate, who found many other backers along her campaign trail, won an easy victory over the opposition’s pick Yashwant Sinha.
At 64, the woman who will be India’s 15th president, taking over from Ram Nath Kovind, will also be the youngest and India’s first president to be born after Independence. She will be sworn in on July 25.
The low-profile politician is believed to be deeply spiritual and a keen practitioner of the meditation techniques of the Brahma Kumaris, a movement she embraced after she lost her husband, two sons, mother and brother in the just six years between 2009-2015.
“She is deeply spiritual and soft-spoken person,” said Basant Kumar Panda, BJP leader and Lok Sabha member from Kalahandi.
In an interview in February 2016 to Doordarshan, Murmu gave a glimpse into the tumultuous period of her life when she lost her son in 2009.
“I was devastated and suffered from depression. I spent sleepless nights after my son’s death. It was when I visited Brahma Kumaris, I realised I had to move on and live for my two sons and daughter,” Murmu had said.
In the month since she was nominated as the NDA’s presidential candidate on June 21, she has made no public statement.
The victory run seemed certain and her numbers were boosted with support from a section of opposition parties such as the BJD, Shiv Sena, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, YSR Congress, BSP, TDP. Some of these parties had earlier supported the candidature of the joint opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. ( PTI )