Droupadi Murmu, a 64-year-old tribal leader from Odisha, on June 21, 2022, was named as the presidential candidate by the ruling NDA government. If elected, Murmu will become India's first tribal and second woman President.
Murmu was born on June 20, 1958, in Odisha's Mayurbhanj. Born in the Santhal community, the 64-year-old struggled with poverty in her childhood in one of the most remote and underdeveloped districts of the country. She has a bachelor's degree in Arts from Ramadevi Women's College
in Bhubaneswar. Murmu has served as a junior assistant in the irrigation and power department in the Odisha government. The BJP leader has also served as an honorary assistant teacher in the Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre in Rairangpur.
Murmu's personal life has been marked with tragedies as she lost her husband Shyam Charan Murmu and two sons.
Murmu started her political career in 1997 as a councillor in Rairangpur Nagar Panchayat.
In 2000, she became a minister during the BJP-BJD coalition government in Odisha. She was conferred the Nilkanth award in 2007 for best MLA by Odisha Legislative Assembly.
She has been an MLA twice on a BJP ticket from Odisha's Rairangpur (2000 and 2009). She held on to her seat when BJD snapped ties with BJP in the 2009 elections, which CM Naveen Patnaik swept.
Murmu has handled the Odisha government's transport, commerce, fisheries, and animal husbandry ministries.
She was vice president and later president of BJP's Scheduled Tribe Morcha in Odisha. Murmu was also elected as BJP's district president of the Mayurbhanj (West) unit in 2010, and she was re-elected in 2013. The leader was also named as a BJP National Executive (ST Morcha) member the same year.
In 2015, she was appointed the Governor of Jharkhand, becoming the first-ever tribal leader at the post.