Poonam Singh

With President Ram Nath Kovind set to leave the Raisina Hill in July this year, the countdown for picking his successor has begun. Former Jharkhand governor and Odisha BJP leader Draupadi Murmu's name is at the forefront for the next president of India.

The ruling party's good show in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur has put the BJP-led NDA in a comfortable position, but it is short of a majority so it would want a candidate, whom opposition parties could support.

Murmu, fits the bill perfectly for the BJP, as she is not only a well-known tribal leader but an able administrator which she has proved in her tenure as Jharkhand's governor.

According to political analysts, Murmu's candidature will also get support from Naveen Patnaik led BJD in the presidential elections as she has worked as a minister in the BJD and BJP coalition government in Odisha and still shares a cordial relationship with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Patnaik, who was recently on a three-day visit to Delhi on being questioned if he would prefer a consensus candidate for the top constitutional position of the country, said that it's still early and the party will take a decision after the candidates are finalised. So, if Murmu will be the BJP candidate then BJD is likely to support her.

Murmu is quite popular among the top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and also shares a cordial bond with everyone. During her term as Jharkhand's governor, Murmu was liked by both the ruling party and the opposition.  

Murmu's candidature will also likely gain the support of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) as JMM's supremo Sibu Soren and Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren have a warm relationship with her.

So, if BJP chooses Murmu as their candidate it will not only impact the tribal vote share in the 2024 General Elections but also boost BJP's prospects in Odisha.

If Draupadi succeeds Ram Nath Kovid, she will be the first Odia and first tribal person to hold the topmost constitutional post.

(Edited By Ramakant Biswas)