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Claim: 15 to 16 Congress MLAs from Assam voted in favor of Draupadi Murmu

Highlights

The number of NDA MLAs in Assam is 79, but Murmu got 104 votes.
Yashwant Sinha got the support of only 20 MLAs from the opposition, while he has 44 MLAs in the House.
Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu got 22 ‘extra’ votes.

Guwahati. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday claimed that 22 opposition MLAs from the state voted in favor of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Draupadi Murmu in the recently concluded presidential election. He said that 15-16 of these opposition MLAs were from the Congress, who voted against party lines. Of the 126 members of the Assam Legislative Assembly, 124 voted for the post of President on July 18, while two All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) legislators could not take part in the polls as they were out of the country.

NDA has 79 MLAs in the Assam Legislative Assembly, but Murmu got 104 votes. In contrast, Yashwant Sinha, the presidential candidate from the opposition, got the support of only 20 MLAs, while the opposition has 44 MLAs in the house. Sarma told reporters that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA candidate got 22 “extra” votes, of which “15 to 16 could be of Congress MLAs and the rest to AIUDF legislators or independents”.

Assam Pradesh Congress President Bhupen Bora admitted that there was “cross voting” in the presidential election and claimed that at least six MLAs voted in favor of Murmu in violation of the state unit’s directive to support Sinha. “In the presidential election, MLAs and MPs vote on the voice of their conscience and not on the basis of affiliation with their parties,” Sarma said. “I don’t want to say much or create any political controversy regarding the pattern of voting. I also do not believe that there can be any division in the political party on this issue.

The Chief Minister expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the people of the state for reposing faith in the NDA’s presidential candidate. Bora said, “When the joint opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha held a meeting for support, apart from 24 Congress MLAs, the lone MLA of Communist Party of India (Marxist) and an independent MLA were present. It is certain that some of them had contacts with the ruling party. He said the party will “identify them and necessary action will be taken”.

When Bora was asked whether the opposition AIUDF MLAs voted in favor of Murmu, he said, “We have to deal with our MLAs who did not support the opposition candidate before seeing what other parties did.” ‘ AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal had earlier announced his support for Murmu, but a day before the polls, he had spoken of supporting Sinha. Congress sources said the party has 27 MLAs, out of which three were suspended for anti-party activities and may have voted for Murmu.

Tags: Assam, Congress, Rashtrapati Chunav

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