Droupadi Murmu Dials Oppn Leaders For Support, Naveen Reiterates Efforts To Get Every Vote From Odisha

OB Bureau

New Delhi: With campaigning expected to begin from July 1, NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu is currently reaching out to leaders of various parties over the phone to seek their support. She called up former PM H D Devagowda and BSP chief Mayawati on Monday.

Though JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda earlier described Murmu as a “suitable” and “non-controversial” candidate, he remained non-committal on supporting her during the election. Mayawati, on the other hand, announced that her party will back her in the polls in line with the party’s vision, which “has identified the tribal community as a major part of our movement”.

Murmu had dialled JMM supremo and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday seeking his party’s support for her candidature, the ET reported.

On Sunday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik spoke to Murmu and assured her of doing everything to get every vote from Odisha in her favour. Naveen was among the first to congratulate her after BJP national president JP Nanda declared her name as the presidential candidate. Describing her as the “Daughter of Odisha”, he also urged all members of Odisha Legislative Assembly, cutting across party lines, to support for her.

Besides BJD in Odisha, the YSR Congress (YSRC), Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party (Ramvilas) have also extended their support to Murmu. The AIADMK is also expected to back her. National People’s Party (NPP) chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma too announced his support for her.

Before filing her nomination papers on June 24, Murmu had called up Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who have announced Yashwant Sinha as joint opposition nominee, and sought their support.

Murmu is likely to call up the leaders of opposition parties such as the DMK, which is in power in Tamil Nadu, and Telangana’s ruling TRS in the coming days.

The TRS, however, has extended support to Sinha, who filed his nomination papers for the July 18 election on Monday in presence of Sharad Pawar, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, DMK’s A Raja and NC leader Farooq Abdullah. He is also being backed by CPI, CPI-M, AIMIM, RJD and AIUDF.

The election of Murmu as the 15th President of India, however, is a foregone conclusion with numbers stacked in the favour of the NDA. The support of regional parties like BJD and YSRC has almost ensured that she will achieve 50 per cent of the first preference votes of the electoral college required to become the next President. The NDA has around 48 per cent of the votes while the BJD has 2.85 per cent and YSRC 4 per cent.

The election for the office of the President of India is scheduled for July 18 and the counting of votes, if needed, will be done on July 21.

OB Bureau

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