• User Name
  • Password
  • Remember Me
05 Oct 2023, 02:02 HRS IST
  • PTI
June 26, 2022

PTI Fact Check:TMC debunks report that it proposed Murmu for president in 2017

Photo Caption: NDA''s presidential nominee Draupadi Murmu: For representational purpose (PTI Photo)

 Kolkata, Jun 26 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress did not propose the name of Droupadi Murmu as president in 2017, say the party's spokespersons, debunking a media report that it had backed the tribal leader for the post five years ago.

Murmu is now the BJP-led NDA's nominee for president. With the numbers in her favour, she is set to become the country’s first tribal president and the second woman in the post.
Quoting TMC leader Kunal Ghosh, a prominent Hindi daily reported earlier this week that the party was the first to have proposed the name of the former Jharkhand governor as president in 2017.
That is incorrect, said party spokesperson Ghosh. Setting the record straight, he said the TMC along with several other opposition parties had endorsed former speaker Meira Kumar for the top job in 2017 — when Ram Nath Kovind was elected as president. However, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his personal capacity, suggesting that a consensus candidate be considered and forwarded three names – Najma Heptullah, then president Pranab Mukherjee (for re-election) and Murmu.
At the time, Ghosh was suspended from the TMC.
"I had written it as a citizen of the country. I had suggested the names in my individual capacity at that time and not on behalf of TMC," Ghosh told PTI.
TMC Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Roy added that Ghosh’s 2017 letter was sent in his private capacity. The party was not privy to his missive and had not endorsed it, Roy said.
A copy of the June 24, 2017 letter resurfaced two days ago after West Bengal's ruling party supported the candidature of Yashwant Sinha as the joint opposition candidate and several party leaders, including Ghosh, called for electing him to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to defeat the "undemocratic, fascist BJP".
The report in the Hindi daily followed.
Ghosh said he was not belittling Murmu by pledging support to opposition consensus candidate Sinha, who resigned from TMC recently.
"I have nothing against her in person even now, but yes we are urging everybody who believes in saving the Constitution, saving democracy, saving the secular spirit of the country, to throw their weight behind Sinha at this crucial hour.
"Murmu is the candidate from the BJP camp, and everyone has seen how the BJP tried to sow differences among people in the name of religion and how the fuel prices spiralled. Murmu is the candidate of that anti-people, communal, undemocratic, hatred-spewing BJP…," Ghosh said.
Ghosh also asked why the BJP had not mooted her name in 2017.
"Yashwant Sinha is the consensus presidential candidate of the combined opposition force. Draupadi Murmu represents BJP and hence she cannot speak against the increasing practice of using central agencies to pillory political opponents, she cannot speak against the one party-one religion-one language agenda and ideology of BJP and the anti-people, anti-PSU economic policies of Narendra Modi as she is their candidate," Roy told PTI.
Ghosh — arrested by West Bengal police for his alleged connection with the Saradha chit fund scam — was suspended from the TMC in 2013. He was granted bail in October 2016 after over two years in custody and formally appointed TMC spokesperson in June 2020.
The claim that the TMC was the first to propose Droupadi Murmu's name for president in 2017 is 'misleading'.
Claim: A prominent newspaper quotes Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh as saying the party was the first in 2017 to have proposed the name of Droupadi Murmu for president.

Fact:  The TMC and other opposition leaders endorsed former speaker Meira Kumar for the top job in 2017. However, Ghosh wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his personal capacity, forwarding three names, including Murmu's. 

Conclusion:  The claim that the TMC was the first to propose Droupadi Murmu’s name for president in 2017 is ‘misleading’.

Want to share feedback / suggestions on our fact-check stories? Write to us at factcheck@pti.in