Presidential Polls 2022: In Draupadi Murmu vs Yashwant Sinha Contest, Its Advantage BJP

Presidential Polls 2022: Now, with both names being announced, let’s take a closer look at the two candidates and what are their chances at the elections, which will decide the 15th president of the country.

By Talibuddin Khan
Wed, 22 Jun 2022 12:43 PM IST
Minute Read
Presidential Polls 2022: In Draupadi Murmu vs Yashwant Sinha Contest, Its Advantage BJP
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New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The opposition and the ruling dispensation on Tuesday announced the names of their respective candidates for the upcoming Presidential Polls, slated to be held in July. While the opposition parties picked former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha as their common candidate, the BJP-led NDA reached a consensus on former Jharkhand Governor and tribal leader Draupadi Murmu as their candidate for the Presidential polls.

Yashwant Sinha's name was selected by the opposition parties after NCP chief Sharad Pawar, NC chief Farooq Abdullah and Mahatama Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi opted out of the presidential race. Meanwhile, besides Murmu, the NDA discussions were held on names like Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Now, with both names being announced, let’s take a closer look at the two candidates and what are their chances at the elections, which will decide the 15th president of the country.

Yashwant Sinha:

Opposition leaders, who gathered at the Parliament annexe for the meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar to decide on a consensus candidate for the presidential election, unanimously agreed on Sinha's name. Sinha, a former IAS officer, has spent over 40 years in politics which was marked by bureaucratic efficiency and close association with top leaders, ranging from socialist ideologue Chandra Shekhar to saffron stalwart L K Advani. However, his political stars waned in the last decade with the rise of a new BJP leadership.

Born in Bihar and a Bihar-cadre IAS officer, he quit the administrative service after 24 years in 1984 and joined the Janata Party whose leader Chandra Shekhar took a liking to him. However, Sinha's career has always carried a rebel streak. His first rebellion was witnessed when he boycotted the oath-taking ceremony of the V P Singh government in 1989.

Various opposition leaders, including Chandra Shekhar, joined hands to form the Janata Dal to take on the Congress in the 1989 poll, and Sinha followed his mentor when he split the party to topple the VP Singh government. Sinha later joined BJP under the influence of Advani, with whom he shared a good bond. He was given key responsibilities and later won the Lok Sabha poll from Hazaribagh in 1998. He remained Finance Minister till 2002 and then made External Affairs Minister.

Sinha's second rebellion cost the then BJP chief Nitin Gadkari his post over alleged corruption charges. Gadkari was forced to quit but Sinha's actions, which many believed had the blessings of Advani, further pushed him to the margins of the party. When the BJP denied him a Lok Sabha ticket in 2014 and instead fielded his son Jayant Sinha, it did little to placate him. He quit the BJP in 2018, alleging that democracy was in danger and joined the Trinamool Congress in 2021.

Draupadi Murmu:

Droupadi Murmu is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance. She continues to break barriers and was the first woman governor of Jharkhand. She served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021. Born in a poor tribal family in a village of Mayurbhanj, a backward district in Odisha, Droupadi Murmu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She taught at Shri Aurobindo integral Education Centre, Rairangpur.

She started her political career as Rairangpur NAC vice-chairman. Droupadi Murmu was member of Odisha Legislative Assembly from Rairangpur between 2000 and 2004. As a minister, she held portfolios of Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. She again served as MLA in the Odisha assembly from 2004 to 2009.

She served as junior assistant in Irrigation and Power Department between 1979 and 1983. She has held several organisational posts in BJP and was vice president state ST Morcha in 1997. Droupadi Murmu was a national executive member of BJP's ST Morcha from 2013 to 2015 and served as BJP district chief of Mayurbhanj (West) in 2010 and 2013.

How do the numbers stack up?

As per the present dynamics, the BJP-led NDA government has 5,26,420 votes, a little less than half of the total 10.79 lakh votes and it needs the support of at least one regional party to prove the complete majority in the Presidential elections. The BJP-led NDA could prove its majority if two regional parties -- Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and YSRCP -- give their support to them.

With the BJP-led NDA announcing Draupadi Murmu as its candidate, the support of BJD is almost secured which means that BJP will comfortably cross the magic mark even without the support of YSRCP.

At present, the NDA is falling short of around 13,000 votes. BJD has more than 31,000 votes and YSRCP has more than 43,000 votes. Meanwhile, the MLA votes of NDA stood at 2.17 lakh while the MP votes are at 3.09 lakh. BJP has a maximum of 1.85 lakh MLA votes and 2.74 MP votes across NDA.

On the other hand, Congress has about 10 per cent of the total votes and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) including the Grand Old Party has over 25 per cent of the votes. Even if votes of other opposition parties, including the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has backed Yashwant Sinha, is added, it is not expected to alter the outcome.

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