Opposition votes for Meira, PDP-BJP for Kovind, Er Rashid abstains elections

Opposition parties national Conference (NC) and Congress voted for Presidential candidate, Meira Kumar, while as PDP and BJP cast their ballot in favour of NDA nominee, Ram Nath Kovind, here today. Independent candidate, Er Rashid, abstained from voting stating that the Congress didn’t keep its promise of not hanging parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Talking to Kashmir Vision, Assembly Secretary, M R Singh, said that Rashid abstained from voting. He said that all other 86 MLAs casted the ballot. “The votes were cast through the secret ballot,’’ he said. “The counting will be held in parliament hall,’’ he said.

Voting to elect India’s 14-th President began on Monday morning. All elected MPs and member of Legislative Assemblies were eligible to cast their vote to elect the successor of Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 25. While Kovind is the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee, Meira Kumar is a former Lok Sabha Speaker. As per the electoral understanding NC voted for Congress candidate, Meira Kumar, while Congress for the BJP candidate, Kovind.

Both NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and opposition’s joint candidate Meira Kumar visited Srinagar to seek support of lawmakers from the state. The total vote value of MLAs and MPs in this presidential election is 6264 of MLAs and 6372 of MPs. The value of vote of J&K MLA is 72.

The State BJP, with 25 MLAs and four MPs has a total vote value of 4632. It is closely followed by PDP with total vote value of 4140. PDP has 28 MLAs and three MPs. The ruling combine also got support of four more MLAs including two from Peoples Conference, MLA Zanskar Baqir Rizvi and MLA Udhampur Pawan Gupta, taking the ruling combine’s total vote value to 9060. The main opposition National Conference, having 15 MLAs and one MP, has a total vote value of 1788. The total vote value of J&K Congress, which has 12 MLAs and one Rajya Sabha MP, in the election is 1572.

Earlier as part of the ongoing campaign, the NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Srinagar to seek support of the legislators and parliamentarians of the ruling PDP-BJP coalition.

The members of the coalition government assured him of their full support. He was accompanied by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Union MoS PMO Jitendra Singh and BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav.

Kovind went to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s residence at Gupkar, where he met her council of ministers and legislators and while speaking at the meeting several BJP and PDP leaders termed Kovind’s candidature for the post of president as an “empowerment of the disadvantaged sections” of the society.

Defending his decision to abstain from casting vote for presidential polls AIP chief and MLA Langate Er. Rasheed, said that BJP could never “have been a choice to be voted and united opposition had lost the right to seek the vote.’’

Er. Rasheed said “though the top congress leadership approached me more than once for voting in favour of the joint opposition candidate but it was made clear to them that congress has lost the right to seek my vote in light of the broken promises made by UPA’s previous presidential nominee Parnab Mukharjee. Let Saif-ud-din Soz and Omer Abdullah recall that when I had met then UPA candidate Pranab Mukharjee at SKICC at his request and submitted him a memorandum seeking clemency for Afzal Guru, Mukharjee had promised to have a very humanitarian view of the clemency petition. In presence of both Omer Abdullah and Saif-ud-din Soz, Mukharjee had assured that Afzal will not be hanged but after becoming president he forgot the promise and as such there is no reason to vote for anyone seeking the constitutional post. In fact Parnab Mukharjee’s promise got added as one more promise to the India’s history of broken promises”.

Er. Rasheed also added that he had voted for Ghulam Nabi Azad in the Rajasabha “not out of love but for the fact that due to the political hegemony Muslim community in Jammu was completely bulldozed by Sang Parivar and congress MLAs at the direction of Sonia Gandhi had given in writing that Afzal Guru’s hanging was unwanted.’’

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