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Droupadi Murmu wins presidential election in India

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-07-22 09:45

People from Santhali tribe dance while holding the photo of the newly elected President Droupadi Murmu, India's first president from the tribal community, in New Delhi, India, July 21, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW DELHI -- Candidate of India's ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Droupadi Murmu on Thursday won the presidential election in the South Asian country after crossing the 50 percent mark of the total votes at the third round of counting.

Murmu, 64, will become the second female president and the first person from India's tribal community to occupy the country's top constitutional post after taking the oath of office on July 25.

In the election held on July 18, she defeated her rival Yashwant Sinha who was fielded as a joint candidate by the opposition parties.

President of India is elected indirectly with voting by means of an electoral college consisting of the elected members of the parliament and the legislative assemblies of all states and union territories.

According to a senior official of the Parliament, where the counting of votes took place, a total of 3,219 votes were found valid, out of which Murmu secured 2,161 votes while Sinha got 1,058.

Messages of congratulations started pouring in as Murmu crossed the 50 percent mark. Her rival candidate Sinha also yielded defeat and congratulated her for the victory.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended his congratulations to Murmu.

"India scripts history. At a time when 1.3 billion Indians are marking Independence Day Grand Festival, a daughter of India hailing from a tribal community born in a remote part of eastern India has been elected our President! Congratulations to Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji on this feat," he tweeted.

Starting off as a school teacher, Murmu, who is from India's eastern state of Odisha, began her political career with today's main ruling party -- the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1997.

She was the first female governor of the eastern Jharkhand state from 2015 to 2021.

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