Hundreds of legislators cross-voted in July 17 presidential election and President-elect Ram Nath Kovind was the beneficiary in maximum states. In fact, the NDA presidential candidate received votes even in states like Tripura where the BJP has neither any presence in the Assembly nor does it have any alliance partner.However, the only exception was the BJP-ruled Rajasthan where the cross-voting favoured Opposition candidate Meira Kumar. And it should be a matter of concern for Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia.
In Rajasthan, where the Congress won 24 seats in the last assembly polls, Meira Kumar got 34 votes, which are believed to have come mostly from non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outfits and the Independents.
According to Bhupendra Yadav, BJP general secretary and Kovind’s campaign manager, 116 legislators voted for Kovind though they had not openly pledged their support to him.
Analysis of results shows that cross-voting took place in favour of Kovind by about eight legislators in Uttar Pradesh and nearly 11 in Gujarat, where state elections are due for the year-end.
Kovind got about nine votes more than expected in Maharashtra, three in Assam, two each in Punjab and Delhi, two in Goa and five extra votes in West Bengal.
The extra votes in his favour are believed to have come from Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab and from Congress in Goa.
In West Bengal, opposition parties alleged that the Trinamool MLAs did the cross-voting. State Congress spokesperson Om Prakash Mishra said the Trinamool lawmakers were facing heat over CBI investigations into multiple scams, so they were in “secret understanding with the BJP”.
In Delhi, the BJP has only four MLAs. Kovind has got two more votes, including apparently of Kapil Mishra, the suspended Aam Aadmw Party MLA.
In Uttar Pradesh, where the Samajwadi Party (SP) is riven by factional strife, Shivpal Singh Yadav, the brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav, had openly declared that he and some other MLAs voted for Kovind.
In Tripura, six suspended lawmakers voted for the winning candidate.
In Gujarat, as many as 11 Gujarat Congress legislators are learnt to have cast their votes in favour of Kovind.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said that while there had been cross-voting in favour of Meira Kumar in BJP-ruled Rajasthan, there also has been cross-voting in her favour in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Nagaland.
Surjewala said Kovind had got 65.66 per cent votes against the claims of BJP leaders that their candidate would get 70 per cent.
He said opposition unity had stayed intact.
“We shall examine them, but we can say with some amount of satisfaction that opposition unity on the principles of ideology has held together, people have voted together and people have voted to defend and protect the Idea of India,” he said.
(With IANS inputs)