Presidential Polls: Droupadi Murmu Meets Jharkhand Chief Minister, Seeks Support

President Polls: NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and JMM president Shibu Soren are both tribal leaders and belong to the Santhal ethnic group.

Presidential Polls: Droupadi Murmu Meets Jharkhand Chief Minister, Seeks Support

Several regional parties like the BJD, BSP and SAD have extended their support to Ms Murmu.

Ranchi:

NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu visited Jharkhand on Monday and sought the support of ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, a tribal party, besides BJP legislators and parliamentarians in the state for her election to the country's topmost office.

She met JMM president Shibu Soren, its executive president and Chief Minister Hemant Soren besides the NDA MLAs and parliamentarians in the state.

The JMM, which is yet to announce its stand on support to Ms Murmu or the opposition parties' nominee Yashwant Sinha in the July 18 presidential polls, will take the decision this week, a party spokesperson said.

The CM extended a warm welcome to Ms Murmu, who is the former governor of the state, on her arrival. She was accompanied by union ministers Arjun Munda, Annapurna Devi and Arjun Meghwal, besides BJP state president Deepak Prakash.

"A warm welcome is extended to her (Murmu) on her arrival to the holy land of Bhagwan Birsa. Many wishes from our side to respected Droupadi Ji," Mr Soren said in a tweet.

Ms Murmu and Mr Soren are both tribal leaders and belong to the Santhal ethnic group, which has a sizeable population in Jharkhand as well as in Odisha, from where she hails.

Ms Murmu had earlier called up Mr Soren to seek JMM's support for the polls.

Senior JMM leader Lobin Hembrom said Mr Soren has been authorised by the party to talk to the Centre and take the "appropriate decision" on supporting the presidential candidate.

"He (Soren) met Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently and we will declare our decision very soon," Hembrom said.

Mr Soren had met Shah and other NDA leaders in Delhi on June 27 and is learnt to have told them that the party will soon take a call on whom to support in presidential polls.

The meetings were held amidst intense speculation over whether JMM will back Ms Murmu or the opposition's joint nominee Mr Sinha, who is a son of the soil of Jharkhand.

Reacting to the meeting of Ms Murmu with Hemant Soren and his father, state Congress chief Rajesh Thakur said that if the JMM keeps away with the UPA candidate in the upcoming presidential polls, it would not send across a good message to the people of Jharkhand.

Mr Thakur, however, said that everyone is free to make own decision as the alliance in the state was forged only to contest elections and not for any other matter, including the voting in the presidential polls.

Earlier, Ms Murmu held a detailed meeting with BJP leaders including Deepak Prakash (RS MP), former chief minister Babulal Marandi, national vice-president Raghubar Das and union ministers Arjun Munda and Annapurna Devi.

BJP leaders said Ms Murmu recalled how Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed faith in her.

The saffron party leaders also mentioned that the PM told Ms Murmu that the constitution will guide her and show the right path when she was wondering if she would be able to do justice to the responsibility.

The leaders quoted Ms Murmu as saying that the PM assured her that the entire country was with her and she would be able to fulfil the responsibility in the manner she did justice with the post of the Governor of Jharkhand.

Ms Murmu and Mr Sinha are the only two left in the race for the president's office after the last day for the withdrawal of nomination ended on Saturday.

Several regional parties like the BJD, BSP and SAD have extended their support to Ms Murmu. The numbers are stacked in favour of her who is expected to win the polls comfortably.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

.