Prez poll: BJP’s chinks exposed
In the midst of the Presidential election, when the Election Commission warned political parties against issuing any whip to its MPs and MLAs, it was believed that it would help the opposition’s candidate Purno Sangma’s campaign for the “conscience vote”.
But it turned out to be several opposition votes heeding the call for conscience and voting for Pranab Mukehrjee as he romped home 69.31% votes of the electoral college in his favour!
The most visible cross-voting was reported from the BJP-ruled Karnataka, where Mukherjee got 53% votes. The State, proving to be BJP’s Achilles Heel, gave 117 votes to Mukherjee as against 103 to Sangma. The UPA polls managers were expecting 98 votes —71 from Congress and 27 from JD (S) MLAs. Subject to investigations, it appears that 19 MLAs owing allegiance to mine baron and BJP leader Gali Janardhana Reddy switched sides. The only solace for the BJP was that over 60 MLAs backing former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa voted according to the party’s directions.
The party recently made peace with Yeddyurappa making his choice Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar chief minister. But that has angered another powerful community, the Vokaligas, since the man the party unseated, Sadananda Gowda, belongs to that community. Therefore, political analysts believe that a group of MLAs from the Bellary region, close to jailed mining baron Janardhana Reddy, might have voted en-block against the BJP sponsored presidential nominee.
The BJP said it would look into the cross-voting in Karnataka “We will look in the issue,” said BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. But party leaders admit it was a difficult task, in the wake of secret ballot.
Asian Tribune -