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Eyeing on tribal votes, Draupadi Murmu likely to begin campaign from July 1

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Draupadi Murmu, the NDA’s candidate for president, is expected to start her campaign from July 1 in a state with a sizable tribal population, sources said on Sunday. According to them, discussions are being held to decide the state from where she will begin her campaign for the July 18 presidential election.

Murmu is currently reaching out to leaders of other parties to solicit their support. In the upcoming days, she is likely to call up the leaders of opposition parties including the DMK, which is in control in Tamil Nadu, and the TRS, which is in power in Telangana, the sources added.

On Saturday, Murmu called Hemant Soren, the leader of the JMM and the chief minister of Jharkhand, to ask for his party’s backing for her candidature. She also called Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, and Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, to ask for their support before submitting her nomination papers on June 24.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, handed over Murmu’s nomination papers to the returning officer, P. C. Mody, on Friday. Murmu is a tribal leader from Odisha and a former governor of Jharkhand. Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, and BJP leader J P Nadda were among the several Union ministers who accompanied her.

READ| Who is Draupadi Murmu, BJP-led NDA’s choice for next President?

Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Manohar Lal Khattar, Jairam Thakur, Pushkar Singh Dhami, and other chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, as well as leaders of some NDA-supporting parties like the YSRCP, BJD, and AIADMK, were also present as she filed her nomination.

Approximately 55% of the electorate has endorsed Murmu with the support of the Mayawati-led BSP, the BJP-led government in Odisha, and the YSR Congress, which is in power in Andhra Pradesh. After Murmu filed her nomination, BJP president J P Nadda had called Congress leader in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, its Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda seeking support for her candidature.

READ| DNA Special: Why BJP picked Draupadi Murmu as its Presidential candidate?

The presedential election would be held on July 18 and result would be out on July 21. If elected, Murmu will become the first tribal president of India and the second woman president. 

 

The term of the current President Ram Nath Kovind ends on July 24.

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