Guwahati, July 18: A total of 123 of the 126 Assam MLAs, including Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, cast their votes for the presidential polls in the assembly on Monday.
Of the 126 MLAs, 123 dis cast their votes in the assembly while Congress MLA Bharat Chandra Narah has sought permission to exercise his franchise in the Parliament as he is in New Delhi for treatment.
Two AIUDF MLAs — Suzzamuddin Laskar and Nizamuddin Choudhury are currently outside the country. CM Sarma, after casting his vote, tweeted, “I cast my vote for the 2022 presidential election.”
I cast my vote for the 2022 Presidential Election. pic.twitter.com/sFxcQ9cyaX
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 18, 2022
Legislators of both ruling NDA and Opposition Congress and AIUDF were seen queuing on the assembly premises before voting began at 10 AM.
Most of the cabinet ministers and Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia have cast their votes, an official said.
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AIUDF MLAs came in a group to cast their votes, but two of their 15 legislators will not exercise their franchise as they are away in Saudi Arabia to perform Haj.
Party supremo Badruddin Ajmal had earlier announced that AIUDF will vote in favour of NDA presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu, but a day before the election changed the decision and said its lawmakers would vote for Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.
Several BJP MLAs had visited Ajmal’s residence on Sunday requesting him to again change the decision and vote for Murmu.
Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said Murmu’s victory is a foregone conclusion and it will be better if all members vote for her. An Assam MLA’s vote is valued at 116 with the total value being at 14,616.
The ruling NDA has 79 MLAs, while three BPF members who support the alliance but have not formally joined it are also likely to vote for Murmu.
Congress has 27 MLAs but three of them have been suspended due to anti-party activities and they have not made it clear in whose favour they will vote.
A CPI (M) and Independent member have pledged their support to Sinha.
Congress MLA Bharat Chandra Narah, currently undergoing treatment in New Delhi, has sought permission to exercise his franchise at the Parliament.
Assam has a total of 21 MPs, 14 in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha, and the total value of the votes is 14,700.
The ruling NDA has a total of 15 MPs, with BJP having 13 and its allies AGP and UPPL one each, while one Independent is also likely to vote in favour of Murmu.
Opposition Congress has three MPs, the AIUDF one and another Independent who has pledged his support to Sinha.