This Article is From Jul 21, 2017

Presidential Election 2017: Cross-Voting In Presidential Poll Flashes Warning Signs For Opposition

Asked about the evidence of cross-voting, Meira Kumar said: To a query on cross-voting in the election, she said, "I don't want to use this word and everybody has the right to vote according to his or her wish."

Many in opposition voted for Ram Nath Kovind rather than Meira Kumar in Gujarat, Goa and other states.


  • Ram Nath Kovind wins President poll against Opposition's Meira Kumar
  • Many in Opposition voted for Mr Kovind than Ms Kumar in number of states
  • These include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Bengal, Punjab, Assam, Tripura
New Delhi:

Ramnath Kovind's election as the next president of India was never in doubt but the large scale cross-voting in seven states throws up a big worry for the opposition, especially ahead of polls in Gujarat later this year.

In Gujarat, at least 11 Congress MLAs are believed to have voted for Mr Kovind rather than the opposition-backed Meira Kumar, in a jolt to the party ahead of voting on August 8 for three Rajya Sabha seats, one held by senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

The neon sign of the Congress hemorrhaging in Gujarat months before an election comes at a time its top leader, Shankarsinh Vaghela, seems to be in exit mode. On Friday, for Mr Vaghela's birthday, his supporters have organised what they say will be a show of strength. Mr Vaghela, who quit the BJP in 1995, has hinted at a big reveal.

State Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki admitted that the party is concerned but claimed it would have no impact on the Rajya Sabha election: "The party will analyse and take action so that such a thing not repeated," he said.

In West Bengal, Mr Kovind won 11 votes though the BJP and its allies have only six votes. It is not clear yet how many of the five extra votes are from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and how many from the Left.

In Maharashtra, Meira Kumar won 77 votes but was expecting at least 10 more. Some members of the Congress, NCP or Left appear to have voted with the BJP.

The Congress is stunned by the cross-voting in Goa, where its leaders have been talking of throwing out the BJP government.

At least eight opposition lawmakers in Uttar Pradesh are said to have cross-voted. These could include Samajwadi Party legislators who are with Mulayam Singh Yadav in his bitter feud with son Akhilesh Yadav.

Two of the four MPs of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab are believed to have voted for Mr Kovind.

In Tripura, where the BJP has zero lawmakers, Mr Kovind won seven votes.

The Congress claimed a reverse trend in Rajasthan.

But if Ms Kumar won 10 extra votes, Mr Kovind won five more than expected too. The cross-voting could be by other parties.