16th Prez Poll : Most MLAs, MPs in NE states cast vote

16th Prez Poll : Most MLAs, MPs in NE states cast vote

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma casts his vote for the presidential election, at Assam Secretariat in Guwahati on July 18, 2022. (Photo: Anuwar Hazarika/IANS)

Guwahati/Agartala, July 18 (IANS) Except a few MLAs, most legislators and Parliament members in the northeastern states on Monday cast their vote in the 16th Presidential election. In Assam, 123 of the 126 MLAs, including Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his cabinet colleagues, Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia cast their votes for the presidential polls in the state assembly. Congress MLA Bharat Chandra Narah has sought permission to exercise his franchise in the Parliament as he is in Delhi for medical treatment. Two MLAs of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) -- Suzzamuddin Laskar and Nizamuddin Choudhury -- are currently outside the country as they are away in Saudi Arabia to perform Haj. Legislators of both ruling BJP-led alliance and opposition Congress, AIUDF and others were seen queuing on the assembly premises before voting began at 10 a.m. AIUDF supremo and Lok Sabha Member Badruddin Ajmal had earlier announced that his party with 15 MLAs would vote in favour of opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. AIUDF MLA Karimuddin Barbhuiya claimed that at least 20 Congress MLAs have cross-voted in favour of BJP-led NDA candidate Darupadi Murmu. In Tripura, except three MLAs -- Tribal Welfare Minister Rampada Jamatia, Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) MLA Brishaketu Debbarma, and CPI-M legislator Sudhan Das, all other 57 MLAs including Chief Minister Manik Saha and opposition leader Manik Sarkar have cast their vote in the state assembly in Agartala. BJP's ally -- IPFT legislator Debbarma did not cast his vote on Monday as he resigned from the Assembly in June 2021, and joined the TIPRA (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) headed by Tripura's royal scion, Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman. Debbarma's resignation was, however, not yet accepted by the Assembly speaker Ratan Chakraborty due to some procedural reasons. Tribal Welfare Minister Rampada Jamatia and CPI-M MLA Sudhan Das, who are now in Delhi to attend the official and organisational meetings there, have cast their votes in the Parliament House. In Mizoram, all the 40 MLAs of the state Assembly including Chief Minister Zoramthanga exercised their franchise to elect 15th President of India. In Manipur, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh was the first to cast his vote in the Presidential election and all the 60 MLAs of the state have cast their vote to elect the new President. In Meghalaya, Members of Parliament and legislatures including Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma have cast their votes at the specially designed polling station in the annexe hall within the premises of the Assembly Secretariat at Rilbong. Sangma, who is the President of the ruling National People's Party, later tweeted: "Along with other legislators of Meghalaya, cast my vote today for the Presidential Elections 2022. Wishing Smti Draupadi Murmu Ji the very best!" In Nagaland, 59 of the 60 sitting members of the Nagaland Assembly including Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio cast their votes. Additional Secretary of the Nagaland Assembly and Assistant Returning Officer of the elections Khruohituonuo Rio said that Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Y.M. Yollow Konyak could not cast his vote due to health issues. After casting his vote, while speaking to the media Chief Minister Rio expressed confidence that there will be no cross-voting among the legislators and that the NDA's candidate will get 100 per cent votes from the state. In Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and his cabinet colleagues and all other MLAs have cast their votes in the state assembly premises. In Rajasthan, a total of 198 MLAs out of 200 cast their vote in the 16th Presidential election on Monday. As many as 146 members of the 147-seat Odisha Assembly have cast their vote in the 16th Presidential election held on Monday. In UP, Senior Samajwadi MLA Shivpal Yadav voted for NDA presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu, defying the party line. The Samajwadi Party is supporting the opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.

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