Guj Congress launches probe into cross-voting in presidential election
The Gujarat Congress Unit has opened an investigation into the alleged cross-voting of at least seven MPs in the July 18 presidential election, a party leader said on Friday. The candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, Draupadi Murmu, who won the elections, got 121 votes from Gujarat, 10 more than the BJP’s 111 votes in the State Assembly.
Of the 10 additional votes she got, one belonged to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP and two others could belong to the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP). This indicates that at least seven members of Congress voted for her, said a party leader.
Congress-backed candidate Yashwant Sinha won 57 out of 178 votes cast in Gujarat.
”The party is shocked by the details that emerged during yesterday’s vote count. Our leadership here has already launched an investigation to find out the truth,’ State Congress spokesman Manish Doshi said when asked about the matter.
Of the 178 MPs who voted, 111 were from the BJP, 64 (including independent MP Jignesh Mevani) were from the Congress, two from the BTP and one from the NCP.
NCP’s Kandhal Jadeja openly declared after the election that he voted for Murmu instead of Sinha, the common opposition candidate.
BTP MPs Chhotu Vasava and his son Mahesh Vasava did not reveal their choice, saying only that they had voted for the candidate who would defend the Constitution and tribal rights.
Political parties cannot assign whips to their deputies or deputies in the presidential ballot which is conducted by secret ballot. In the Gujarat Assembly, which has 182 members, two seats – Unjha and Bhiloda – are vacant following the deaths of incumbent MPs. Dwarka lawmaker Pabubha Manek was barred from voting due to an ongoing court case over his disqualification, and Khedbrahma MP Ashvin Kotwal recently resigned from the assembly.
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