How will BJP reap political dividends with her candidature?

Murmu, a native of Odisha, will be the youngest ever President of India, if elected on July 18. (ANI)

New Delhi: Droupadi Murmu, NDA’s presidential elections candidate, filed her nomination papers in Parliament today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal, BJP president J P Nadda, Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Manohar Lal Khattar, B S Bommai, Bhupendra Patel, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Pushkar Singh Dhami, Pramod Sawant and N Biren Singh accompanied the tribal leader to the office of presidential polls’ officer. YSR Congress leader V Vijaysai Reddy and BJP leader Sasmit Patra also accompanied her. 

Murmu, a native of Odisha, will be the youngest ever President of India, if elected on July 18. She will be the first tribal president of the country and the second woman to hold the post after Pratibha Patil.

Though the opposition has fielded Yashwant Sinha as its presidential candidate, Murmu’s election is almost certain, as many non-NDA parties have backed her. YRSCP and BJD have extended their support to Murmu. Only the BJP and BJD’s votes amount to 52 percent, enough for her election.

Droupadi Murmu’s candidature can prove to be a master stroke as far as politics is concerned. The BJP stands to gain massively by Murmu’s candidature.

In 2024, when the general elections will take place, assembly elections of 18 states are also scheduled. Out of these 18 states, the tribals are in majority in four. 13 states have more than 10 percent of tribal population. In all these states, the BJP stands to gain tribal sympathies.

In these 18 states, around 85 percent of the tribal population resides. By projecting a pro-tribal, pro-dalit image, the BJP also wants to attract other backward communities.

The party also intends to retain the support of tribals in the Lok Sabha elections. The party had won 27 of the 47 reserved Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and 31 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.

The BJP, however, had lost in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh due to lukewarm tribal response.

The BJP has governments in 11 of these 18 states, including six northeastern states. With this appointment and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development push, the party intends to capture these states. 

Originally published at www.dnaindia.com

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