State legislators across India show enthusiasm for Presidential polls voting

State legislators across India show enthusiasm for Presidential polls voting


New Delhi: Legislators across the country, including from politically sensitive states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar, today showed keen enthusiasm and made beeline in the respective state assembly premises to cast their votes for the Presidential elections. NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, a former Rajya Sabha member from UP and an ex-Bihar Governor, is pitted against united Opposition's Meira Kumar, a former diplomat turned senior politician. In Lucknow, amid speculation of cross voting among the Samajwadi Party MLAs, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was among the first to vote. Security measures have been enhanced in the Assembly after explosives were recovered inside the House on July 12. Yogi Adityanath said it would be an honour for the NDA to give country 'first President' from UP. Mr Adityanath is an MP from Gorakhpur and is yet to get membership of any Houses in the state. The entire voting process in Lucknow has generated excitement after rebel SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav said that some party MLAs could vote for BJP nominee Mr Kovind. In West Bengal assembly premises in Kolkata, a Congress MLA felt sick after casting his vote. The voting in West Bengal for presidential polls is witnessing an unusual political unity as Trinamool Congress, the Left and the Congress are expected to vote for opposition candidate Ms Meira Kumar. Though NDA's presidential pick Mr Kovind has massive support from other parts of the country, in the 294-member Bengal Assembly and among its 42 Lok Sabha members, the presence of BJP is weak. However, Mr Kovind is likely to get support from six legislators in the Assembly which includes three from the BJP and the other three from its political ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). In Lok Sabha, BJP has two members from West Bengal - S S Ahluwalia (Darjeeling) and Babul Supriyo (Asansol). Actress-turned-politician Roopa Ganguly, a key BJP leader in Bengal, is a nominated member to the Rajya Sabha. In Patna, voting for presidential election began at the state Assembly`s library at 1000 hours sharp. BJP MLA Sanjay Saraogi was the first legislator to cast his vote. MLA Rajballabh Yadav, who is presently lodged in Biharsharif jail is also likely to cast his vote with permission from court. Similar reports of voting for President's elections have come from other states also. Telangana Chief Minister and TRS leader K Chandrasekhar Rao and state Assembly Speaker Madhusudhan Chary were among the first to cast their votes in the polling to elect the country's next President. In Bangaluru, polling began for Presidential election in Karnataka being conducted at Vidhana Soudha here, where 224 members of the Legislative Assembly and one Lok Sabha member will be exercising their franchise.

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