NEW DELHI: A woman politician belonging to a poor tribal community in the eastern state of Odisha will be India’s new president.
Droupadi Murmu, 64, will become the country’s second-ever female president when she replaces 76-year-old Ram Nath Kovind, whose five-year term ends on July 24.
The post is largely ceremonial but comes with key constitutional responsibilities that make the president’s role crucial during political crises.
Murmu, who was nominated by the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), defeated 84-year-old opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.
Sinha is a former finance minister, who resigned from the BJP in 2018 over political differences.
He congratulated Murmu on her victory after the vote count on Thursday.
“India hopes that as the 15th president of the republic she functions as the custodian of the Constitution without fear or favour,” Sinha said in a statement.
The voting was held on Monday.
India’s president is indirectly chosen, with the electoral college made up of the elected members in the national and state legislatures.
Belonging to the Santhal tribe in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, Murmu started her career as a school teacher.
She later entered politics and served as a lawmaker and minister in Odisha.
Murmu retired as Jharkhand state’s governor in 2021.
“She had an excellent tenure as Jharkhand governor. I am certain she will be an outstanding President who will lead from the front and strengthen India’s development journey,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. — BERNAMA
Source: New Straits Times