Bangalore: Rubbing salt into the wounds of BJP, smarting from cross-voting by some of its MLAs in the Presidential poll, party strongman B S Yeddyurappa on Monday said Pranab Mukherjee should have been elected unanimously and
consensus eluded due to lack of foresight and divergent views.
His statement in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly as members congratulated Mukherjee created a flutter in the BJP, coming a day after the poll in which 14 BJP MLAs cross-voted in favour of the UPA's Presidential candidate.
"All parties should have come together and there should have been a thinking to elect him unanimously but because of lack of foresight, difference in opinion and other reasons, the election became inevitable," said Yeddyurappa, who
recently virtually forced the BJP central leadership to make his nominee Jagadish Shettar the Chief Minister.
The former Karnataka Chief Minister also made a strong appeal to the BJP-led NDA's losing candidate Purno A Sangma to refrain from "misadventure" of approaching the Supreme Court.
Sangma on Sunday did not rule out moving court on the election, saying its process was "exceptionally partisan" and alleging that the non-UPA ruled states were lured with packages and inducements and even given threats.
"I appeal to Sangma and also through this House (the Assembly) not to resort to such a misadventure. The world is watching us. It does not not behove anybody. It does not bring pride to anybody. I will also write letter to Sangma (against approaching SC)," Yeddyurappa said.
Mukherjee should have got support of 103 MLAs —71 of Congress, 26 of JDS and six independents — but secured 117 votes in Karnataka as against 103 by Sangma despite the ruling BJP having 119 MLAs. Three votes were declared invalid.
Yeddyurappa heaped praise on Mukherjee, saying he is a "rare personality" after former Presidents Rajendra Prasad, S Radhakrishnan and A P J Abdul Kalam.
After the UPA cleared Mukherjee's name, Yeddyurappa said he personally favoured his candidature but made it clear he would toe the party line (on Sangma's candidature).