Droupadi Murmu (born 20 June 1958) is an Indian politician who is the president-elect of India. She is a member of the BJP. She is the first person belonging to a Scheduled Tribe (ST) community to be elected President of India. Prior to her presidency she served as the ninth Governor of Jharkhand between 2015 and 2021, and held various portfolios in the cabinet of Government of Odisha between 2000 to 2004.
Before entering politics, she worked as a junior assistant in the State Irrigation and Power Department from 1979 to 1983, and then as a teacher at Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre at Rairangpur until 1997.
In June 2022, the BJP nominated Murmu as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)'s presidential candidate for the 2022 election. She was elected president in July 2022, becoming the country's youngest president, the first to be born after India's independence and the first person belonging to India’s scheduled tribes to become the President.
Droupadi Murmu was born in a Santali family on June 20, 1958, in Baidaposi area of Rairangpur from Mayurbhanj district in Odisha, to Biranchi Narayan Tudu. Her father and grandfather were traditional heads of the village council. Murmu is an arts graduate of Rama Devi Women's College.
She married Shyam Charan Murmu, a banker, who died in 2014. The couple had two sons, both of whom are dead, and a daughter, Itishri Murmu. She lost her husband, two sons, mother, and a brother in a span of 7 years, from 2009 to 2015. She is a follower of the Brahma Kumaris sect.
She worked as a junior assistant at irrigation department Government of Odisha from 1979 to 1983. She then worked as a teacher at the school Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur and taught Hindi, Odia, Maths, Geography.
Droupadi Murmu joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in Rairangpur. In 1997 she was elected as the councilor of the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat.
During the BJP and BJD coalition government in Odisha, she was the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation from March 6, 2000, to August 6, 2002, and Fisheries and Animal Resources Development from August 6, 2002, to May 16, 2004.
In 2009, she lost the Lok Sabha election from Mayurbhanj constituency as the BJD and BJP allaince had ended.
Governor of Jharkhand
Murmu took oath as the Governor of Jharkhand on 18 May 2015, becoming the first woman Governor of Jharkhand. The BJP was in power in the Jharkhand Government for most of the six-year tenure as a governor. BJP was in power in the Union Government throughout her tenure
Ratan Tirkey, a former BJP politician and activist, said that Murmu had not done enough to make sure that the self-governance rights granted to tribal communities were properly implemented. These rights were granted under the Fifth Schedule and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA. Tirkey said, "Despite several requests, the then governor never exercised her powers to implement the Fifth Schedule provisions and Pesa in letter and spirit".
Her six year tenure as Governor began in May 2015 and ended in July 2021.
Pathalgadi movement against tribal land law amendments
In 2016–2017, the Raghubar Das ministry was seeking amendments to the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908, and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, 1949. These two original laws had safeguarded the rights of the tribal communities on their land. According to the existing laws the land transactions could only be done between the tribals. The new amendments gave the tribals the right to allow the government to make commercial use of the tribal land and to take the tribal land on lease. The proposed bill amending the existing law had been approved by the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly. The bills were sent to Murmu for approval in November 2016.
The tribal people had strongly objected to the proposed law. During the Pathalgardi movement, protests were held against the proposed amendments to the tenancy acts. In one incident the protests turned violent and the tribals abducted the security detail of the BJP MP Karia Munda. Police responded with a violent crackdown on the tribals, that caused the death of a tribal man. Criminal cases were filed against more than 200 people including the tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy. Murmu, was criticized for her soft stand on police aggression against tribals during the movement. According to woman tribal rights activist Aloka Kujur she was expected to speak up to the government in support of the tribals but it did not happened, and instead she appealed to the Pathalgarhi agitation leaders to repose faith in the constitution.
Murmu had received total of 192 memorandums against the amendments in the bill. Then opposition leader Hemant Soren had said that the BJP government wanted to acquire tribal land through the two amendment Bills for the benefit of corporates. Opposition parties Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Indian National Congress, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and others had put intense pressure against the bill. On 24 May 2017, Murmu relented and refused to give assent to the bills and returned the bill to the state government along with the memorandums she had received. The bill was later withdrawn in August 2017.
2022 presidential campaign
In June 2022, the BJP nominated Murmu as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)'s candidate for President of India for the 2022 election the following month. Yashwant Sinha, was nominated as the candidate for President by the opposition parties. During her election campaign, Murmu visited various states seeking support for her candidature. Several opposition parties like BJD, JMM, BSP, SS among others had announced support for her candidature prior to polling. On 21 July 2022, Murmu secured a clear majority in the 2022 Presidential election defeating common opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha with 676,803 electoral votes (64.03% of total) in 21 of the 28 states (including in the union territory of Puducherry) to become the 15th President of India.
She was elected as the President of India and will assume office on 25 July 2022. She will take oath of office on the Central Hall of Parliament by the CJI, Mr. NV Ramana.
Murmu is also the first person from Odisha and the second woman after Pratibha Patil to become the President of India. She will be the first tribal to be elected president. She is the youngest and first individual born after India's independence in 1947 to have been elected to this post.
The Presidency of Droupadi Murmu will commence on 25 July 2022.
As a BJP politician, she follows BJP party line on Hindi language, Gomutra (cow urine) and Nationalism. She supports BJP's 2020 Indian agriculture acts (commonly known as the farm laws.
Murmu has freely expressed her admiration for India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. She also expressed her admiration towards Mahatma Gandhi, and B R Ambedkar and their contribution to the making of Constitution of India. She is known to be most expressive on the issue of tribals.
Murmu in June 2022
25 July 2022
|Prime Minister||Narendra Modi|
|Vice President||Venkaiah Naidu|
|Succeeding||Ram Nath Kovind|
|9th Governor of Jharkhand|
18 May 2015 – 12 July 2021
|Chief Ministers||Raghubar Das
|Preceded by||Syed Ahmed|
|Succeeded by||Ramesh Bais|
|Minister of State, Government of Odisha|
6 August 2002 – 16 May 2004
|Governor||M. M. Rajendran|
|Chief Minister||Naveen Patnaik|
|Ministry||Fisheries and Animal Resources Development|
6 March 2000 – 6 August 2002
|Governor||M. M. Rajendran|
|Chief Minister||Naveen Patnaik|
|Ministry||Commerce and Transport|
|Member of Odisha Legislative Assembly|
5 March 2000 – 21 May 2009
|Preceded by||Laxman Majhi|
|Succeeded by||Shyam Charan Hansdah|
|Born||20 June 1958 (age 64)
Uparbeda Mayurbhanj, Orissa, India
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
Shyam Chandra Murmu
|Children||3 (2 deceased)|
|Alma mater||Rama Devi Women's University|