Seven Gujarat Congress MLAs cross-voted during the Presidential election. The opposition Presidential candidate, Yashwant Sinha, only received 57 votes instead of 67. The Gujarat Congress is concerned with cross-voting by seven Congress MLAs.
The 182-member Gujarat Assembly has 178 MLAs, 111 from the BJP, 63 from the Congress, 2 from the Bharatiya Tribal Party, 1 from the NCP and an Independent MLA and Congress Working President, Jignesh Mevani. The Gujarat Congress joint in-charge and AICC secretary BN Sandeep told Vibes of India that the party knows who all did the cross-voting and this matter is taken seriously.
On the Question of cross-voting by 7 Congress MLAs, Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly Sukhram Rathwa told Vibes of India that MLAs who want to join BJP have cross-voted to defame tribal MLAs of Congress in Gujarat.
Even though the NCP declared its support for Sinha, the only NCP MLA from Gujarat, Kandhal Jadeja, publicly confirmed that he voted for Murmu. At the same time, two MLAs of the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) Chotubhai Vasava and his son Maheshbhai Vasava voted for the NDA candidate.
Then BTP National President Mahesh Vasava in a special conversation with Vibes of India said that they have voted for the first tribal presidential candidate. He said, we symbolically dressed in tribal attire for the same. He insisted that no one had asked them to do so but as a mark of respect we even instructed our Rajasthan MLAs to vote for her.
None of the 12 tribal MLAs of the Congress party has cross-voted. He said that the election of the President is confidential so a whip can not be issued like in Rajya Sabha polls. He claimed to have given a separate report to the party in this matter.
Is this a pro-Hardik Patel MLA, who recently left the Congress and joined the BJP? In response, Sukhram Rathwa, the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, said, “Whoever it is, we will know it.”
Although a senior Congress leader said that the talk of 8 MLAs being in touch with the BJP came up from time to time, the presidential election also made it clear that some MLAs would join the BJP before the elections.
Among the cross-voters are said to be 2 tribal MLAs, one from South Gujarat and one from Central Gujarat, while 2 Patel MLAs are supporters of Hardik Patel. There are 3 OBC MLAs who are from Saurashtra and Central Gujarat.