Cross-voting in states boosts Ram Nath Kovind’s victory margin


Polling data released by the returning officer indicate several instances of cross-voting in the presidential election.

The Congress leadership suspects that Shankarsinh Vaghela and his supporters in Gujarat voted for Ram Nath Kovind, the NDA candidate. The party has advised its legislators and workers to keep away from the show of strength planned by Vaghela’s supporters to mark his birthday on Friday.

There was also cross-voting in favour of Kovind in Goa, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Tripura. BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, Kovind’s election manager, claimed that 116 lawmakers from Opposition parties, including the Congress, appeared to have voted for the NDA candidate. As many as 30 of them were members of Parliament, he said.

The good news for the Congress was from Rajasthan, where Opposition candidate Meira Kumar received 34 votes though the party has only 24 legislators in the 200-member House. Assembly elections are due in Rajasthan at the end of 2018. Kovind received 166 votes against BJP’s 161 legislators, which suggests most of the votes of smaller parties and independents went to the Congress.

In Bihar, the voting was on expected lines, with legislators of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress voting for Meira Kumar, while the Janata Dal (United), the BJP and its allies voting for Kovind. Read More


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