New Delhi, July 20: NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind succeeded in winning the presidential poll with a brute majority. The former Bihar Governor polled 65.65 percent of the total votes, securing more than 7 lakh electoral points. His rival and Opposition’s candidate, Meira Kumar, apart from being defeated, also faced defiance from her own party ranks. Also Read - Rs 1 Crore Fine, 5 Years in Jail: Centre Brings New Law to Tackle Air Pollution in Delhi-NCR
A post-result analysis found a section of Congress MLAs, in at least seven states, defying the party line by voting for Kovind. Although cross voting is considered a regular phenomenon, the number of lawmakers who sided with Kovind raises concerns over the party’s leadership, especially in the poll-bound states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.[Read: Opposition Candidate Meira Kumar Won Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka Despite Defeat] Also Read - President Signs Ordinance to Set up Committee to Monitor Air Pollution; AQI Deteriorates to 'Severe' in Many Areas in Delhi
In Gujarat, Kovind managed to get unprecedented 132 votes, whereas, Bharatiya Janata Party has only 121 legislators. The results suggest 11 legislators from Congress did not vote for Meira Kumar. The defiance of Congress MLAs in Gujarat highlights the veiled dissidence from a section of the party, especially in wake of the intra-party tensions prevailing between two senior leaders – former Gujarat CM Shankar Singh Vaghela and Congress’ state president Bharatsinh Solanki. Also Read - President Ram Nath Kovind Turns 75: Birthday Wishes Pour in From PM Modi, Venkaiah Naidu, Many Others
The second big shocker came to Opposition was delivered from Maharashtra where Meira Kumar was expecting at least 83 votes given the alliance of Congress and Nationalist Congress Party but only got 77 votes. While Congress won 42 assembly seats, NCP had to console itself with 41 seats. It remains unclear which 6 legislators voted for Kovind. [Read: ‘Emotional Moment, Responsibility to Serve the Common Man’, Says President-Elect Ram Nath Kovind]
Similarly in West Bengal, the NDA nominee succeeded in receiving votes above his due. Kovind received 11 votes, whereas BJP and its allies have only six MLAs in the assembly. The voting pattern indicates switching over of sides either from the Left or TMC, or both.
Tripura raises similar concerns for Left and TMC, from where Kovind succeeded in bagging one vote, despite BJP’s nil representation in the legislative assembly.
In Punjab too, the rift was witnessed in Aam Aadmi Party whose two Members of Parliament voted in favour of Kovind.
However, Congress too succeeded in making dent in BJP’s stronghold of Rajasthan where Meira Kumar unexpectedly got 34 votes whereas Congress has only 24 legislators in Assembly.