NEW DELHI: Heavy cross-voting in favour of Draupadi Murmu became the distinctive feature of this Presidential election as the Opposition’s candidate Yashwant Sinha drew a blank in three states Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim.
What sets the tongues wagging is an indication that Bengal satrap Mamata Banerjee’s fortress might have been breached. The result of the Presidential election suggested that two All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) MLAs might have voted in favour of Murmu.
The BJP currently has 69 MLAs in the West Bengal Assembly but Murmu has got the votes of 71 MLAs. What makes this more curious is the fact that it was Mamata Banerjee who led the Opposition in selecting a joint Presidential candidate.
Final numbers indicated that 17 MPs and 126 MLAs have cross-voted in favour of Murmu.
The maximum cross-voting for Murmu happened in Assam where 22 opposition MLAs voted for her. This was followed by 19 in Madhya Pradesh and 16 in Maharashtra.
Gujarat, which is due for polls this year, saw 10 opposition MLAs voting for her. In Rajasthan, where Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot runs a tight ship, five non-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) MLAs cross-voted for Murmu.
In Uttarakhand too, three non-BJP MLAs voted for the president-elect. In Andhra Pradesh, both the ruling YSRCP and opposition TDP had declared support for Murmu. Murmu also got the vote of one MLA from Kerala where NDA has no MLAs.
In Uttar Pradesh, Murmu got the votes of 287 MLAs, which is at least 10 more than the strength of the NDA in the state Assembly. The total value of votes secured by Murmu from Uttar Pradesh is 59696.
Of the total 1072377, Murmu secured 2824 votes whose combined value stood at 676803, which is 64.03%.
However, amid the division in opposition ranks, Aam Aadmi Party, which is running governments in Delhi and Punjab, appeared to have kept its flock together.