Guwahati, July 21: Heavy cross-voting amid a lack of opposition unity paved the way for a big win for Droupadi Murmu on Thursday as she became the new President of the country, underscoring that the prospect of a larger opposition front against the Narendra Modi government remains a mirage.
22 opposition MLAs of Assam voted for NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu.
BJP-led NDA’s candidate Droupadi Murmu today emerged victorious against Yashwant Sinha. She had been leading against Sinha from the start.
Murmu, who belongs to a tribal community in Odisha, has become the first Adivasi woman to occupy the country’s top constitutional post. The tenure of incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind is ending on July 24 and his successor will take oath on July 25.
The presidential and vice presidential electoral fights were largely symbolic with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s candidates expected to win from the start. But it is the nature of the current presidential election, with Murmu polling nearly 70 per cent of all votes that has exposed the fissures in the opposition ranks and even inside the UPA camp.
As many as 17 MPs and nearly 102 MLAs cross-voted for Droupadi Murmu, apart from about half-a-dozen non-NDA parties that refused to side with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The number of cross-voting MLAs is expected to further go up when the counting is complete.
About hundreds of opposition MLAs have voted for NDA candidate Murmu. Twenty-two opposition MLAs voted for Murmu in Assam, 6 in Chhattisgarh, 16 in Maharashtra, 19 in Madhya Pradesh, 16 in Rajasthan, and 10 in Jharkhand.