Meet Chandrani Murmu, youngest MP of India at 25

Daijiworld Media Network - Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, May 25: She was hunting for a job till recently when she was an unknown person. She wanted to become a probationary officer in a bank or an assistant section officer in the Odisha government or a mechanical engineer in a private company. But in a twist of fate, Chandrani Murmu has become a Member of Parliament instead.

Chandrani is only 25 years, 11 months and 9 days old as on Saturday, and she has won the Keonjhar Lok Sabha seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, on Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ticket by defeating two-time BJP MP Ananta Nayak by a margin of 66,203 votes. She will enter the Lok Sabha as the youngest woman member in the Lower House’s history, and likely to be sworn in as MP before turning 26 on July 16.

Until now, the record has been held by Dushyant Chautala, founder of the Jannayak Janta Party representing Hisar Lok Sabha constituency in Haryana in the 16th Lok Sabha. He is the grandson of well-known Haryana politician Om Prakash Chautala.

Her selection as the BJD candidate was sudden and unexpected. BJD, as part of its stated position to send 33% women to the Lok Sabha, was looking for a candidate with professional qualification and willing to enter public life. Murmu grabbed the opportunity as soon as she came to know about it. Her maternal grandfather was Keonjhar MP two decades back. Other than that, none one of her family members from either side was in active politics after that.

Chandrani had completed her B Tech from the city-based SOA University in 2017 and has been on a job search either in the engineering or the general sector.

When asked if she felt nervous to work with nation’s top politicians in debates in Lok Sabha, Chandrani said, “When I have already opted for politics as a career, my age will not determine how forceful my voice in Parliament will be. I will justify my election as an MP.”

Though Keonjhar possesses India’s 20% of iron ore reserves and is rich in mineral resources, the district lags in many human development indices. It has earned the epithet, ‘A rich land with poor people’.

“I am aware of the tag attached to Keonjhar. Since the announcement of my candidature was made only a few weeks before filing of nomination, I did not have enough time to visit all corners of Keonjhar. Frankly speaking, I am not aware of the challenges I have to face being a people’s representative. My first priority will be to know the constituency and spend as much as time with the people,” she said.

The campaign was not easy for her as a young woman. Her political opponents had reportedly photo-shopped her image to launch a personal attack on her through WhatsApp. The police had swiftly swung into action and arrested the culprits.

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