Updated: Fri, 24 Jun 2022 01:52 PM IST
Draupadi Murmu, the Presidential candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), on Friday called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, seeking their support for the Presidential polls slated to be held next month.
Quoting sources, news agency PTI reported that the 64-year-old called the opposition leaders personally and spoke to them before filing her nomination. All the three leaders expressed their best wishes to her.
Earlier in the day, Murmu filed her nomination papers for the elections in New Delhi in a massive show of strength by the NDA, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda, and other senior leaders.
Several Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states, including Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Pushkar Singh Dhami, were also present as Murmu signed her nomination papers. Besides, YSR Congress' V Vijaysai Reddy and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Sasmit Patra - who are not part of the NDA alliance - were also present.
The BJP had declared last week that Murmu will be the NDA's candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections. The announcement was made by BJP national president JP Nadda.
"For the first time, preference has been given to a woman tribal candidate. We announce Draupadi Murmu as NDA's candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections," he had said.
"Detailed discussions were held on 20 names and a consensus was built that someone from the East and from the tribal community must be made the President of India. After discussions, the Parliamentary board decided to name Draupadi Murmu as the Presidential candidate," Nadda said.
Murmu, who served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021, is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance. She also served as a minister in the Odisha government and held portfolios of Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
In 2007, the Odisha legislative assembly honoured her with the 'Nilakantha Award' for best MLA. She served as a junior assistant in Irrigation and Power Department between 1979 and 1983. She has held several organisational posts in BJP and was vice president of state ST Morcha in 1997.