The Election Commission
on Wednesday issued a notification for filing of nominations for the presidential poll, counting of votes for which will take place on July 20, five days before the incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee’s term expires.
The names that have so far emerged in the race to the Rashtrapati Bhavan
include those of Draupadi Murmu, Najma Heptullah, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Mohan Bhagwat and Sushma Swaraj, besides six people who filed their nominations on Wednesday.
Among the names of key political players, one that has been making waves on the social media is that of Jharkhand
Governor Draupadi Murmu.
Should the 59-year-old, coming from the Santhal tribe, is elected, she would be the first tribal woman to take the position of the President of India.
Murmu, who began her political career in 1997, comes from the Uparbheda village of Odisha.
During BJD’s Naveen Patnaik government
from 2000 to 2004, she had held portfolios like ministry of transport and commerce, and fisheries & animal husbandry. With 20 years of experience, Murmu has been working for the elevation of the tribal community.
In fact, Murmu's likely candidature is being viewed as BJP’s effort to win the tribal vote bank for the 2019 general elections, according to an NDTV report.
Another promising name that has emerged for the Presidency has come from the Opposition
camp – that of Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and a former West Bengal
governor, Gopal Krishna Gandhi.
A retired IAS
officer and a diplomat, the 71-year-old has served in different capacities – secretary to the Vice-President (from 1985 to 1987), joint secretary to the President (from 1987 to 1992), and secretary to the President (1997).
A panel of 10 Opposition
leaders assigned to pick a candidate held its first meeting on Wednesday but decided to wait until the government’s propositions before zeroing in on a name. The Centre, meanwhile, needs around 20,000 more votes to ensure victory for its candidate.
Today report quoting sources said the NDA
was likely to declare the final candidate's name on June 23.