HYDERABAD: The announcement of party tribal leader Droupadi Murmu as the BJP-led NDA's candidate for the Presidential election came as a boost to the BJP Telangana unit, which hopes to get close to the Scheduled Tribes (ST) community, who form a significant chunk of voters in Telangana. If elected, the 64-year-old Murmu will be the first tribal woman to become the President of India.
The BJP leadership is already making serious efforts to concentrate on the SC, ST reserved constituencies in Telangana ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled for 2023.
Telangana has 19 reserved constituencies for SCs and 12 constituencies reserved for ST communities. The BJP has formed special teams called ‘Mission 19’ and ‘Mission 12’ to prepare ground to take the party’s initiatives to these constituencies.
BJP Lok Sabha member Soyam Bapu Rao is already a noted leader for the party from ST category. He trounced the TRS in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Adilabad, which is reserved for STs.
Telangana BJP leaders strongly feel that Murmu’s election as President is a foregone conclusion going by the clear edge the BJP-led NDA has in electoral college comprising MPs and MLAs of all states besides the backing of regional parties like YSRCP, AIADMK etc. BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik too will find it hard to not support her
Her candidature will help the BJP garner the support of STs in the polls in Telangana as well as in the tribal tracts of other states.