LUCKNOW: In the presidential polls, while 335 MLAs voted in favour of winning NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind in Uttar Pradesh, 59 supported him in the hill state of Uttarakhand, according to the results declared Thursday.
In UP, the president-elect got 10 votes over and above the expected support of 325 MLAs of the BJP and allies in the House of 403, of whom only 402 had exercised their franchise. Of the 402 votes, two were declared invalid.
On the other hand, UPA candidate Meira Kumar got just 65 votes. This shows that at least six MLAs from the opposition camp cross voted in favour of the NDA candidate as the collective strength of opposition, including the SP (47), BSP (19) and the Congress (7) stood at 73. There are five independent candidates in UP Assembly. One of the SP MLAs could not vote due to health issues.
If all the opposition MLAs had supported Meira Kumar, she should have bagged at least 72 votes. But she got only 65 votes.
Three of the five independent MLAs, including Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya, Aman Mani Tripathi and Vinod Kumar, had assured Kovind of their support. Gong by simple arithmetic and the claims made by former state chief of Samajwadi Party and MLA from Jaswantnagar, Shivpal Yadav, on the day of voting, at least six MLAs from the SP/BSP camp cross voted in favour the NDA candidate. It would be interesting to see what action SP national president and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav takes against the cross voters.
In the Uttarakhand House of 70 members, BJP has 57 MLAs, Congress 11 and the remaining two MLAs are independent. Of the 70, Kovind managed to get 59 votes — 57 BJP and two Independents — while Meira Kumar got just 11 votes of the Congress MLAs.
Three cross vote in MP
Out of the 228 MLAs who voted on Monday, 171 had voted for Ram Nath Kovind, while 57 voted for Meira Kumar. As per political speculation, at least three opposition MLAs cross voted for the NDA candidate.
5 MLAs change allegiance
Though Meira Kumar received the most number of votes from West Bengal largely due to chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s diktat, Kovind benefited from cross voting of five MLAs.
Cong votes for NDA nominee
In Chhattisgarh, the ruling BJP has 49 seats, and Kovind was expected to get the support of 50 MLAs but instead, he got votes from 52 members. The speculation is that two Congress legislators could have voted in favour of the NDA candidate.
Kovind cashes in
In Assam, Kovind was assured of 88 votes of ruling alliance. He got 91 votes, with three cross voting. In Tripura, he cashed in on the votes of all six sacked TMC and 1 of the 3 Congress MLAs’ votes, while in Nagaland and Meghalaya, one MLA each cross voted for him.
(With inputs from Anuraag Singh in Bhopal, Aishik Chanda in Kolkata, Ejaz Kaiser in Raipur and Prasanta Mazumdar in Guwahati)