Rairangpur: As news of “Odisha’s daughter” Droupadi Murmu taking a consolidated lead over her rival Yashwant Sinha in the presidential elections poured in, the entire state, especially her hometown Rairangpur, burst into celebrations on Thursday.
Revellers gathered outside her residence in Rairangpur town in Mayubhanj, as well as her in-laws’ home in the district’s Pahadpur village, and played tribal music and danced to its tunes.
Workers of the ruling BJD, which had pledged its support to the NDA presidential nominee, along with common people, were seen bursting crackers and distributing sweets near Biju Patnaik Golei Chhak in Rairangpur to mark the occasion.
Celebrations were also reported from BJP headquarters in Bhubaneswar.
After the first round of counting, when votes of all members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were taken into account, Murmu was found leading with 540 of the 748 votes polled.
Murmu, if elected, will be the first tribal woman president of the country.
A huge hoarding with a picture of Murmu tying rakhi (sacred thread) on the wrist of BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has been put on display at different squares of the Rairangpur town.
“We have reasons to be proud of Murmu. She is too dear to us, she has shared with us our joys and sorrows,” said Soudamini Das, a local resident.
In Uparbeda village, her place of birth, supporters of Murmu queued up outside places of worship since morning to offer prayers to the tribal deity amid beating of drums.
Murmu’s nephew and his wife had been unceasingly attending to guests, who had been visiting their residence in Uparbeda for the past three days to congratulate them.
“My aunt-in-law is second to none. She has always been good to me. I don’t mind attending to her well-wishers,” Dulari Tudu, the wife of Murmu’s nephew, said.
Teachers and students of Government Upper Primary School, Uparbeda, where Murmu studied till Class 7, also organised a small celebratory programme on the school campus.
“Didi’s (Murmu) achievements have infused confidence in poor girls like us. She is our role model,” said Class 8 student of the school.
Headmaster Manoranjan Murmu said the NDA nominee set an example for her entire community.
“We can proudly say that a former student of this school is the President of India. This development will go a long way to boost the morale of tribal and Dalit children,” he added.