Ram Nath Kovind is President-elect: Cross-voting in West Bengal got NDA-nominee additional seven votes

The ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition Congress and CPM on Thursday engaged in a blame game over cross voting that took place in West Bengal during the presidential poll

PTI July 21, 2017 07:45:16 IST
Ram Nath Kovind is President-elect: Cross-voting in West Bengal got NDA-nominee additional seven votes

Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition Congress and CPM on Thursday engaged in a blame game over cross voting that took place in West Bengal during the presidential poll, with the opposition accusing the TMC of covertly helping the BJP.

Ram Nath Kovind is Presidentelect Crossvoting in West Bengal got NDAnominee additional seven votes

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah greet Ram Nath Kovind. PTI

The Trinamool Congress has denied the allegation.

President-elect Ram Nath Kovind, who was supposed to get votes of six MLAs of the West Bengal Assembly — three of GJM and three of BJP — got votes of 11 MLAs which has kicked off a debate among political parties in Kolkata.

The cross-voting, however, was welcomed by the BJP, which termed it as a signal of "the TMC fast losing ground in Bengal".

Apart from cross-voting, 10 votes from the Assembly were also declared invalid.

The Congress, the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress had decided to support joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar. The total number of MLAs of these three parties is 287.

The BJP and its ally the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) each has three MLAs.

"All 211 MLAs of the Trinamool voted for Meira Kumar. We do not know what the legislators of other parties may have done", the TMC said in a statement.

"Why are you asking us? Please ask the CPI(M) and the Congress," a senior TMC leader, who did not wish to be named, told PTI.

The Opposition Congress and CPM denied the allegations that its legislators were involved in cross-voting and accused the TMC of "entering into a covert deal with the BJP" in order to save its leaders from CBI probe into Narada and Saradha scams.

"The CBI is investigating the Narada and Saradha scam cases. Several leaders of the TMC have already been summoned. That is why they have entered into a deal with the BJP in this presidential election. That is why TMC MLAs have cross voted", West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury said.

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