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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Nation's new President Droupadi Murmu .. .. what connects Bolarum & Mashobra ?

Ever heard of this place by name Bolarum and can you connect this with Mashobra ??


Mrs Droupadi Murmu is the President of India now; the 15th Indian President.  Ms Murmu’s victory marked several firsts. She became the first President born in Independent India. At 64, Murmu is also  the youngest occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, besides being the first tribal leader to hold the country’s top office.  She is not new to politics – She was Minister of State in 1st Ministry of Naveen Patnaik in 2000; represented Odisha Rairangpur assembly and later became the Governor of Jharkhand in 2015.

Indian Presidential election is an indirect one involving the legislators and not directly the public.  The recent one of 2022 was the 16th presidential election as  incumbent president Ram Nath Kovind tenure expired. The election took place on 18 July 2022 with a turnout of 99.12%.  BJP candidate Droupadi Murmu won the election, defeating Yashwant Sinha, the candidate of the opposition, by a margin of 296,626 votes.  

Fourteen people have been elected as the President of India since India became a republic in 1950, with 12 of them completing their full term of five years. Babu Rajendra Prasad, the inaugural President, is the only one so far to be re-elected to the position.  At 12 years and 107 days, India's first President, Rajendra Prasad, had the longest tenure. He was re-elected in the 1952 and 1957 elections by record margins. Prior to becoming the President, Prasad was the President of the Constituent Assembly.

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was elected as the President unopposed after the nomination papers of 36 other aspirants were rejected. Thus, no Presidential election was held in 1977. Interestingly, Reddy was the official Congress candidate in the 1969 election but narrowly lost to VV Giri. In 1969, official Congress candidate Neelam Sanjiva Reddy lost to Independent VV Giri, who was tacitly backed by Indira Gandhi. Under the call for 'conscience vote', a minority of Congress lawmakers, Leftists and Communists helped Giri carry 11 of 17 state legislatures. Giri, however, secured just 48 per cent first-preference votes. The other official candidate was former Finance Minister CD Deshmukh, who secured a little over one lakh votes.

For those interested in trivia, Mashobra and Bolaram are the venues of Presidential retreat. 

Mashobra is a town in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, connected to the state capital Shimla (erstwhile Simla) through the historic Hindustan–Tibet Road built in 1850 by Lord Dalhousie.  Bolaram is a locality in Secunderabad Cantonment in Hyderabad, Telangana, lying closer to Secunderabad.  The location of 'The Retreat Building' in Shimla and the 'Rashtrapati Nilayam' in Hyderabad are indicative of the integrative role of the Office of the President of India in our country.  Located at the hill top of the Mashobra, the building was taken over during 1895 by the Viceroy. The President visits The Retreat at least once a year and the core office shifts to that place during stay in The Retreat. Thousand feet higher than the Shimla Ridge Top, The Retreat is located in a picturesque surrounding. This building is  purely a wooden structure with dajji wall construction. Originally constructed in 1850, this building has a plinth area of 10,628 sq. ft.

The other one situated in Hyderabad is in Bolarum, Rashtrapati Nilayam building was taken over from the Nizam of Hyderabad after India attained independence and handed it over to the President's Secretariat. Constructed during 1860, this building has a total land area of 90 acres. A single storied building, it contains in its premises 11 rooms.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th July 2022.

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