It is going to be a battle royale between BJP and ex-BJP stalwarts in the forthcoming presidential poll. BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has nominated former Jharkhand Governor and tribal leader from Odisha Draupadi Murmu as their presidential candidate.
The 13 party-opposition has nominated former union minister Yashwant Sinha as their candidate.
The NDA government and joint opposition now claim that all of them were keen to have a 'consensus candidate'. However, they could not formally discuss it.
Soon after the opposition nominated Yashwant Sinha as their candidate, BJP went into a tizzy and held a parliamentary board to finalize their candidate. By evening they too announced their candidate.
A woman of many firsts
Draupadi Murmu has too many firsts to her credit. If she is elected, she will be the first president to be born after independence. She was born on June 20, 1958.
She is the first woman and tribal leader from Odisha to be appointed as Governor of Jharkhand. Coming from the Adivasi community, her nomination is being seen as a message to the people that the BJP is not a party of upper caste and upper class.
Murmu's name was also on the list for the 2017 Presidential elections but she could not make the cut. Instead, Ram Nath Kovind was shortlisted.
A battle to show strength
The opposition's move to nominate Yashwant Sinha is to test their strength. Sinha, who served BJP for two decades, left in 2018. He blamed the BJP for being non-democratic and protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
His name was cleared by the opposition as they wanted someone who can fight the BJP and bring all secular parties together.
YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh and TRS in Telangana are yet to make their stand clear on the poll.
NCP Sharad Pawar is reaching out to all parties. The opposition is devising a campaign strategy for Yashwant Sinha.
The electoral college for the presidential poll comprises Members from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
The value of the vote changes due to various reasons, including abstaining from votes and cross-voting. Plus the absence of the Legislative Assembly in Jammu and Kashmir also affects the electoral college.
It will be difficult to predict the winner. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is to strategize the campaign for the presidential poll.
Though Draupadi Murmu has an edge over Yashwant Sinha, it will not be a cakewalk for sure.