India got its first tribal President yesterday as NDA choice Droupadi Murmu scooped up over 60 per cent of the total vote value. Opposition's Yashwant Sinha conceded defeat after three rounds of counting. The President-elect will take oath on July 25
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Droupadi Murmu got 64.03 per cent of total vote value after three rounds of counting. Yashwant Sinha ended up with 35.97 per cent. Ms Murmu received 2,824 votes with a value of 6,76,803. Mr Sinha received 1,877 votes with a value of 3,80,177. A value of 5,43,000 is required for a victory.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with senior members of his Cabinet and BJP chief JP Nadda, visited Ms Murmu to congratulate her. Celebrations broke out across the country, complete with sweets and colourful tribal dances. At 64, Ms Murmu will be the youngest and India's first president to be born after Independence.
"Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji has been an outstanding MLA and Minister. 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," PM Modi tweeted.
"I heartily congratulate Srimati Droupadi Murmu on her victory in the Presidential Election 2022. I hope — indeed, every Indian hopes — that as the 15th President of India she functions as the Custodian of the Constitution without fear or favour. I join my fellow countrymen in extending best wishes to her," read a statement from Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.
Governors, cabinet ministers, chief ministers and leaders of various political parties sent congratulatory messages for Ms Murmu. Opposition leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and NCP chief Sharad Pawar also congratulated her.
Odisha's Rairangpur, the hometown of Ms Murmu, broke out in celebrations as the trend became clear.
The NDA's choice of Ms Murmu -- former Jharkhand Governor and a tribal woman from Odisha – drove a wedge through the opposition and brought on board non-aligned parties, such as Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal and Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress. The move is also seen as a huge political message to the tribal community, which was lately seen as being disenchanted with the BJP.
The voting figures also indicate a considerable amount of cross-voting by opposition MPs and MLAs in Ms Murmu's favour. While parties have declared support for one candidate or the other, there is no penalty for cross-voting in the Presidential elections.
While no concrete data is available yet on the volume of crossvoting, in several states, the BJP claimed that opposition MLAs broke rank with their parties. "Smt Droupadi Murmu polled 104 votes compared to NDA's original strength of 79 in the 126 member Assam Assembly. 2 absent," tweeted Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The winner of the Presidential election is not the candidate who gets only the most votes, but the one who crosses a quota. This quota is determined by adding votes polled for each candidate, dividing by two, and adding '1' to it. Basically, one more than 50 per cent. If someone does not cross this at first, subsequent preferences marked on the ballot paper come into play.