Just as it seemed. Draupadi Murmu was elected as the fifteenth President of the country. For the first time in independent India, a representative of an indigenous community became the first citizen of the country. However, the opposition is questioning how much it will ensure the protection of the rights of the indigenous people in the country.
Percentage of votes
After the third round of counting on Thursday, Draupadi, a member of Odisha’s Santal community, managed to beat opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha to a majority. Last time, NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind got 65.65 percent votes. This time Draupadi got 64.03 percent. The BJP camp, which is somewhat uncomfortable with this, claims that the cancellation of about 53 votes is responsible for this.
She was ahead since the NDA camp proposed Draupadi’s name as a woman representative of tribal society in the presidential election. Parties like BJD, YSR-Congress, Shiv Sena, BSP, JMM came forward favoured the root in Odisha and was supported by tribal-identity sources. Even Mamata Banerjee, who proposed Yashwant’s name as the candidate of the opposition camp, said that the Trinamool would have thought of supporting Draupadi if the BJP had announced Draupadi’s name earlier.
Counting of votes started at 11 am yesterday. After about three and a half hours, Draupadi went ahead with the results of the first round. The gap created with the opponent had not decreased. Rajya Sabha Secretary General P C Modi said that Draupadi had got majority in just 3 rounds. According to the final result, 2824 votes were cast in favour of Draupadi Murmu. Yashwant Sinha got 1877 there. Draupadi got 540 votes among MPs. Yashwant got 208 votes. The BJP camp claims that they have got the votes of several MPs from the opposition party as well. The BJP leadership explained that the NDA MP strength is 441 at the moment. Besides, JMM, BJD, Shiv Sena, BSP and YSR-Congress polled, making the number 529. However, Draupadi got the votes of 540 MPs. The BJP camp claimed that at least 11 MPs from the opposition camp cross-voted in support of Draupadi. Out of the 53 votes that were annulled, the highest number of votes (15) were annulled in Parliament. Five votes each were cancelled in Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Four votes were cancelled in West Bengal, Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Draupadi yesterday by tweeting after her victory. His tweet said, “India made history. While 1.3 billion people of the country are celebrating independence, a woman from a tribal community in a remote part of East India was elected our President.” Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee also congratulated Draupadi, writing, “The nation will eagerly look forward to your role as head of state in upholding the constitutional character and democracy. Especially at a time like this, when the society is riddled with differences.” Congratulatory message came from Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, wishing to meet Draupadi soon. As Draupadi’s victory was virtually certain, the BJP camp was preparing for a festival since yesterday morning.