MUMBAI: Former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal and another NCP MLA Ramesh Kadam got an hour off from jail authorities on Monday to be able to cast their vote in the presidential election.
Bhujbal is in jail for more than a year now over charges of corruption in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan at Delhi during his tenure as PWD minister. Kadam is serving a sentence for misappropriating funds worth Rs 140 crore when he was the chairman of Annabhau Sathe Arthik Vikas Mahamandal, a state-owned finance corporation. Both are members of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Voting for the election began at Vidhan Bhavan (legislature building) at 10 am. Bhujbal was brought in an ambulance at around 12.30 pm, while Kadam came in a jail van about half an hour later. Though they refused to speak to the media, Kadam indicated that he voted for Kovind.
As many as 287 MLAs out of 288 and a Rajya Sabha member from the state cast their votes at Vidhan Bhavan. Kshitij Thakur, the MLA from Vasai, is abroad and he didn’t cast his vote, officials said. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut made it clear that the party would not support Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the candidate proposed by the Congress for the post of vice-president.
“He had openly supported 1993 Mumbai terror attack convict Yakub Memon and signed a petition against his hanging. This is not acceptable to Shiv Sena,” Raut said.