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I am surprised, I was not able to believe it, says Droupadi Murmu

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Droupadi Murmu is NDA candidate for the coming Presidential elections

BJP-led NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu said she was surprised to learn about her candidature and was unable to believe the news.

Speaking exclusively to ANI over the phone, she said she will reach out to members of the electoral college for their support. "I am surprised, I was not able to believe it. I am thankful, do not wish to speak much (at this stage)," Droupadi Murmu, a former Jharkhand Governor, said.

"Whatever powers are there of President in Constitution, I will work accordingly," she said in response to a query about her priorities if she is elected as president.

Asked about the contest with opposition parties on Tuesday declaring former union minister Yashwant Sinha as their presidential nominee, she said there are candidates in the fray and she will seek the support of MPs and MLAs.

"There are candidates. Our work is go to people, reach out to the members of the electoral college and seek their cooperation. I will request all parties, states for support," she said.

Droupadi Murmu was on Tuesday declared BJP-led NDA's presidential candidate. She is a former Odisha minister.

The voting for presidential elections will be held on July 18. If elected, she will be the first tribal President of India and the country's second female President.

Droupadi Murmu is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance. She continues to break barriers and was the first woman governor of Jharkhand. She served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021.

Coming from a poor tribal family in a village of Mayurbhanj, a backward district in Odisha, Droupadi Murmu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She taught at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur.

Born on June 20, 1958, she pursued BA at Ramadevi Women's College Bhubaneswar.

She started her political career as Rairangpur NAC vice-chairman. Droupadi Murmu was a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Rairangpur between 2000 and 2004. As a minister, she held portfolios of Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. She again served as MLA in the Odisha assembly from 2004 to 2009.

In 2007, the Odisha assembly honoured her with 'Nilakantha Award' for best MLA. She served as junior assistant in Irrigation and Power Department between 1979 and 1983. She has held several organisational posts in BJP and was vice president state ST Morcha in 1997.

Droupadi Murmu was a national executive member of BJP's ST Morcha from 2013 to 2015 and served as BJP district chief of Mayurbhanj (West) in 2010 and 2013. Between 2006 and 2009, she was chief of BJP's ST Morcha in Odisha. She was a member of the national executive of BJP ST Morcha from 2002 to 2009.

Soon after Draupadi Murmu was announced by the BJP as its presidential candidate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is confident that she will be a great President.

Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote, "Draupadi Murmu has devoted her life to serving society and empowering the poor, the downtrodden as well as the marginalised. She has rich administrative experience and had an outstanding gubernatorial tenure. I am confident she will be a great President of our nation." "Millions of people, especially those who have experienced poverty and faced hardships, derive great strength from the life of Draupadi Murmu. Her understanding of policy matters and compassionate nature will greatly benefit our country," PM Modi said.