Guwahati, July 22: Assam’s Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia is disappointed to know that the opposition’s candidate for president got only 20 votes in Assam which has the possibility to get at least 37 votes.
While talking to the media over Cross-voting for newly elected Draupadi Murmu Saikia said that “It is very unfortunate, that despite of the possibility of getting 37 votes from Assam. The opposition’s candidate for president got only 20 votes. Congress here has 24 numbers, so the numbers indicate that four of our party members didn’t vote as promised. And it could be even lesser if the people of other parties have voted as they say. The number could go to 5,7,8 I don’t know as it was a secret ballot. I believe that the ruling party, Bhartiya Janta Party is responsible for such dirty politics.”
Debabrata Saikia also attacks Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma by saying that some of the MLAs may fall into a trap by the speech of the state CM.
“In fact time and again, the Chief Minister has quoted in public, that the opposition’s MLAs have no power. They can’t even sanction a road permit. All they do is sit with the speaker in assembly. When such things are said, there’s a possibility that some of our MLAs fell into his trap due to a lack of development in their subjective constituencies. I’d say our Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is solely responsible for the decay in democracy by cross-voting in the last presidential election, and we condemn BJP’S policy of breaking opposition unity,” He added.
A total of 124 (123 in Assam and 1 in Delhi) MLAs out of 126 MLAs cast their votes for the 16th Presidential Election 2022 in the Central Hall of the Assam Legislative Assembly.
The Chief Electoral Officer, Assam, Nitin Khade shared that the polling took place smoothly, in presence of the Election Commission of India Observer, Leena Johri. Mr Ballot Box, as per tradition has been safely transported from the Assembly to the Airport amidst tight security and has taken off to Delhi for onward submission to the Election Commission of India accompanied by Addl CEO Pradeep Kumar Doley, AROs Dulal Pegu and Rajeeb Bhattacharya.
22 opposition MLAs of Assam voted for NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu. The Indian presidential election is an indirect one so it cannot be a meter to gauge public sentiment before the 2024 Lok Sabha battle either. What makes this year’s election politically far-reaching is the cross-voting observed in states in favor of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
The cross-voting seen in states like Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Goa has exposed the superficiality of the Opposition’s united front narrative against the BJP two years before the General Elections.
Even before the big battle, some states will head into Assembly elections in the next two years and the voting pattern seen in the presidential elections should alarm the Opposition parties.
Murmu became India’s first tribal President in a one-sided contest against Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. The NDA candidate won by an overwhelming margin after receiving over 64% of the valid votes to succeed Ram Nath Kovind as India’s 15th President.