Home » Draupadi Murmu certain to romp home in the Presidential elections

Draupadi Murmu certain to romp home in the Presidential elections

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 7 minutes read

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, July 14:  

With overwhelming support from different parties, the BJP-backed NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu, pitted against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, is certain to romp home, in the Presidential election.
The polling to elect the country’s 15 th President will be held on July 18 and votes will be counted on July 21. Nearly 115 candidates are in the fray this time as against 106 candidates in the 2017 Presidential election. The term of President Ram Nath Kovind ends on 24 July. The new president will be sworn in on July 25, 2022.
Support to Murmu
While NDA has nearly 48 percent of the vote share in the electoral college, a host of other parties have also extended support to Murmu. The long list includes Biju Janata Dal (BJD), AlADMK, Janata Dal (U), Janata Dal (Secular), Apna Dal, YSR Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Telugu Desam Party(TDP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Nishad Party, Republican Party of India (Athavale) and National People’s Party (NPP).
Naga People’s Front (NPF), Mizo National Front(MNF), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), AINR Congress, Jannayak Janata Party, United Democratic Party, United Democratic Party (UDP), Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and United People’s Party Liberal(UPPL).
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) which draws its electoral strength from tribal votes in Jharkhand is one of the signatories of Sinha’s candidature. Eventually, It may support Murmu. Due to the pressure from party MPs, the Shiv Sena has also extended support to Murmu. 
The role of the Aam Admi Party (AAP), which considers itself an alternative to the Congress is not clear. It is planning to make heavy inroads in the ensuing Gujarat Assembly election. There are a sizable number of tribal voters. If it opposes Murmu, then it will be labelled as “anti-tribal” and if it votes in her favour, the party will be branded as a “saffron” supporter. As such the AAP is in dilemma.
Sinha’s strength
The Opposition parties supporting Sinha include the Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), J&K National Conference, Samajwadi Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), CPI, CPM, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), All India United Democratic Front (AUDF), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The electoral college of 4809 voters with 10.86 lakh votes (Assembly votes-543231 + Parliament votes-5,43,200) will decide the fate of the candidates. The college comprises MPs of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, MLAs of states, and MLAs of Delhi and Puducherry. Nominated members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Assemblies, and members of state legislative councils are not part of the electoral college.
Value of the votes
The value of the MLA’s vote is determined by the population of each state as per the census of 1971. The value varies from state to state depending upon the population. It is as high as 208 in Uttar Pradesh and as low as 07 in Sikkim. The weighted votes from all assemblies add up to 543231 (No of Assemblies 30, No of MLAs 4033).
The 776 MPs (Lok Sabha-543, Rajya Sabha-233) contribute the same total votes as the MLAs. As such the total weighed 543231 votes are divided by 776 rounded off to 700= 5,43,200.
The Electoral College
As stated above the value of MLAs’ vote differs from state to state. The formula is:
Andhra Pradesh- No of MLAs-175 x Value of each vote-159=Total votes of the state=27825, Arunachal Pradesh-60 x 08=480, Assam-126 x-116=14616, Bihar-243 x 173=42039, Chattisgarh-90 x 129=11610, Goa-40 x 20=800, Gujarat 182 x 147=26754, Haryana-90 x112=10080, Himachal Pradesh-68 x51=3468, Jharkhand-81 x 176=14256 and Karnataka-224 x131=29344.
Kerala-140 x 152 =21280, Madhya Pradesh-230 x 131=30130, Maharashtra-288 x 175 =50225. (However with number of MLAs getting reduced to 287 due to one vacant post, the votes have been reduced to 50225), Manipur-60 x18, =1080, Meghalaya-60 x 17 =1020, Mizoram-40 x 08=320, Nagaland-60 x 09=540, Odisha-147 x 149=21903, Punjab-117 x 116=13572 and Rajasthan-200 x 129=25800.
Sikkim-32 x 07=224, Tamil Nadu-234 x 176 =41184, Telangana-119 x 132= 15708, Tripura-60 x 26= 1560, Uttarakhand-70 x 64 = 4480, Uttar Pradesh-403 x 208 = 83824, West Bengal-294 x 151= 44394, Delhi- 70 x 58= 4060 and Puducherry- 30 x 16 = 480. Total Assembly members-4033, Total value-543231.
Lok Sabha members-543 x 700=380100, Rajya Sabha members-233 x 700=163100, Total MPs-776, Total value-5,43,200.
Grand total
Total-No of MLAs-4033, Votes-543231 + No of MPs-776, Votes-5,43,200=Grand total-10,86,431.
Draupadi Murmu
The 64-year-old Draupadi Murmu, former Jharkhand Governor, becomes the first woman Presidential candidate from a tribal Community since the late P A Sangma, a candidate from the tribal community had contested the 2012 Presidential election.
Murmu was born in a Santali tribal family on June 20, 1958, in Uparbeda village of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. A graduate in arts, Murmu initially worked as an assistant professor at the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education and Research Institute, Rairangpur, Odisha. Subsequently, she worked as a Junior Assistant in the irrigation department of the Odisha Government.
She joined the BJP in 1997 and was elected as the councillor of the Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat. She became the Chairperson of Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat in 2000 and also served as the national vice-president of BJP Scheduled Tribes Morcha.
She won the Assembly elections twice from the Rairangpur constituency. During the BJP and Biju Janata Dal coalition government, she was the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Commerce and Transportation (March 6, 2000, to August 6, 2002), and Fisheries and Animal Resources Development (August 7, 2002, to May 16, 2004). She was conferred Nilkantha Award for best MLA by Odisha Legislative Assembly in 2007. She became the first woman Governor of Jharkhand in May 2015 and served as the Governor till 2021. 
Yashwant Sinha
The 84-year-old Yashwant Sinha, from Patna, Bihar joined as a member of the Janata Party after resigning from the IAS in 1984. He became the party’s all-India general secretary in 1986 and was elected a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1988. After Janata Dal was formed in 1989, Sinha, became JD’s general secretary. He later joined the BJP.
He was the Union finance minister in the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998 to 2002). Before that, he held that portfolio in Chandra Shekhar’s Cabinet as well (November 1990 to June 1991). He quit the BJP on April 21, 2018, and joined the TMC in March 2021. He left TMC last month after he was selected as the joint Opposition candidate for the presidential election. He has been a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi-led NDA.
In 2007 Pratibha Patil, the UPA, and left parties nominee became India’s first woman President with 638116 votes against BJP candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who secured 331306 votes. In 2012, the UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee became 13 th President polling 713763 votes against NDA’s late P A Sangma with 315987 votes. In both these elections, The Shiv Sena then part of the NDA chose to back Patil and Mukherjee respectively.
The election of Murmu to the highest position in the country will steer forward the growth of the tribal community. As of now, the numbers are stacked in her favour and she is expected to win the polls comfortably.

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