Thanks to cross-voting in BJP-ruled Karnataka, UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee has got unexpected votes.
Returning Officer for the Presidential poll and RS Secretary General V K Agnihotri on Sunday announced that 81 votes were invalid out of the 4,659 votes polled. Of the 81 invalid votes, 15 were by MPs, including Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In Gujarat also, one BJP MLA voted in favour of Mukherjee. While Pranab’s camp was expecting 58 votes, he got 59 and NDA-backed P A Sangma secured 123 votes. BJP MLA Kanubhai Kalsariya had already claimed that he had voted for Mukherjee. In the Karnataka Assembly, of the 224 members, Pranab’s managers were expecting 98 votes — 71 from Congress and 27 from JD(S). However, he has got 117. Even though BJP has 119 members in the Assembly, Sangma has got only 103 votes. Out of the 223 votes polled, three were declared invalid. With Left support, it was a clean sweep for Pranab in Kerala and Sangma could not manage even a single vote.
Despite Sangma projecting himself as a tribal candidate, he could not garner more votes in the North Eastern States. He didn’t get a single vote in Nagaland. In Sikkim, Pranab Mukherjee got 28 votes and Sangma managed only one vote.