BHUBANESWAR: Defying the party’s decision, Congress MLA from Cuttack-Barabati constituency Mohammed Moquim voted in favour of NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu throwing the state unit of the party in a turmoil.
“I voted as per the dictates of my conscience and chose the daughter of the soil for the country’s topmost constitutional post,” Moquim told mediapersons after casting his votes creating ripples in political circles here.
Moquim said that as there is no whip in Presidential election, he listened to his conscience and voted for Murmu. “Besides, several eminent persons from both inside and outside the country had also requested me to vote for Murmu,” he added.
The Congress MLA said he expects people of Odisha will support his move and he will feel proud if his vote will add to the victory margin of Murmu. Stating that the decision to vote for Murmu was a personal decision, he said that there was no other pressure on him. Asked whether his move has exposed the rift in Congress, Moquim said there is no such issues.
However, Moquim’s move has not gone down well with the party’s other leaders. President of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Sarat Pattanayak and leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Narasingh Mishra said that Moquim’s decision to vote for the NDA Presidential candidate has been reported to the High Command. Action will be taken as per the decision of the High Command, they added.
His party colleagues Santosh Singh Saluja and Tara Prasad Bahinipati also critcised Moquim for voting in favour of Murmu. Bahinipati, however, said that it showed that he was not happy in the party.