GUWAHATI: Going against their parties, seven Tripura MLAs – six of them from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and another from the Congress – voted in favour of National Democratic Alliance’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential elections.
The six TMC MLAs had earlier announced that they would not vote in favour of a candidate who was being backed by the Left parties. Tripura is ruled by the Left Front.
Recently, the TMC leadership had “severed ties” with the six rebel MLAs for their anti-party stand vis-à-vis the presidential elections. The Congress MLA, Ratan Lal Nath, has been very effusive about Prime Minister Narendra Modi in recent months, much to the chagrin of the party’s state leadership. All these MLAs, who met Kovind during his recent visit to the Assam capital Guwahati, are likely to join the BJP any day after July 22.
“We did not cast our vote in favour of Opposition candidate Meira Kumar as she was backed by the CPI-M, which is our principal rival in Tripura,” one of the TMC MLAs, Asish Kumar Saha, said.
The Congress MLA, Ratan Lal Nath, said, “I cannot divulge publicly who I had voted for but I thought Ram Nath Kovind was the best candidate”. In the 60-member Tripura House, the Left Front accounts for 51 seats. TMC and Congress have six and three MLAs respectively.