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BJP's presidential candidate Murmu sweeps temple floor before leaving for Delhi

Source: PTI
June 22, 2022 17:22 IST
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The National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu swept the floor of a Shiva temple in her locality in Rairangpur, in this nondescript, tribal-dominated town in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district at the crack of dawn on Wednesday, ahead of her journey to Delhi.

IMAGE: Former Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu, who has been chosen as the BJP-led NDA’s candidate for presidential elections, sweeps the Purnandeswar Shiv temple in Rairangpur, Mayurbhanj district, Odisha, June 22, 2022. Photograph: PTI Photo

It is a task she has done daily since she returned to her home town in August 2021 after her retirement as the governor of Jharkhand. Wednesday was no exception.

Hundreds of local residents saw the NDA presidential candidate with a broom in her hand and clad in an ivory coloured handloom sari with a red border sweeping the temple floor in the early hours between 3 and 4 am.


Like other days she offered her prayers at the temple after a bath and whispered into the ears of Nandi, the bull 'vahana' of Lord Shiva, a common practice, as hundreds of local residents looked on and the temple was cordoned off by CRPF commandos provided to her after the Centre accorded her Z plus security cover.

The commandos took over the security of  64-year-old Murmu early on Wednesday morning, a senior officer told PTI.

When Murmu came out of the temple, she was surprised to find a large crowd despite the early morning hour. Two members of the Iswariya Prajapati Brahmakumari organisation also greeted her.

”We have come here to greet Madam over her success and consider it as a blessing of the almighty on her,” the members said.

After the temple rituals, Murmu returned to her residence and met people and leaders from different political parties, including the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha. However, opposition Congress leaders were not seen as the party is yet to take a decision on supporting the NDA candidate in the July presidential election.

Later, when Murmu left on the 285-km journey to Bhubaneswar, people of the town stood on both sides of the road to have a glimpse of the woman vying for the topmost position in the country. Women and children offered her flowers, men and youths said 'namaste' to her with folded hands or waved at her.

There was an air of festivity as some people were seen dancing to tribal music as they consider her candidature as a major victory for the tribal population since Independence. Huge welcome gates were put up in the town.

Murmu will fly to Delhi from Bhubaneswar.

”Tribal people are elated over Murmu's candidature,” said BJD MLA R K Das, who met her at her Rairangpur residence.

Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra said the BJP has fielded Murmu in the presidential poll keeping an eye on the BJD's 2.85 per cent of votes in the electoral college.

”We may not support her in the elections even though she is a befitting candidate,” he said.

BJD MP Bhartuhari Mahatab appealed to all MLAs and MPs of Odisha to support Murmu in her journey to Raisina Hills.  The ruling BJD has 2.85 per cent votes in the electoral college for the presidential poll while the NDA is short by 1.2 per cent of the votes required. 

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