Thursday, 27 July, 2017

BJP grows in strength in Manipur; 2 more Cong MLAs join BJP

BJP grows in strength in Manipur; 2 more Cong MLAs join BJP BJP grows in strength in Manipur; 2 more Cong MLAs join BJP
Nellie Chapman | 18 July, 2017, 10:52

The new President will take over on July 25.

During the Rajya Sabha polls in June 2016, the votes of 12 Congress MLAs were declared invalid for marking their preferences with a pen having a different ink colour than the one supplied officially.

Two MLAs from the state were absent during the voting for the presidential elections on Monday, taking the total tally of voters to 222. In September 2016, the EC had indicted Haryana Assembly Secretary R K Nandal, who was the returning officer for the June 2016 Rajya Sabha election.

Till now the State Congress Party has not filed any petition for suspension of the congress MLAs under the tenth scheduled of the Indian constitution, neither the state assembly recognised them as the BJP MLAs.

"All the 228 MLAs in the electoral list cast their votes with special pens provided to them by 3.05 pm, nearly two hours before the polling to close", an Election Commission (EC) official told PTI.

After Palaniswami, his cabinet colleagues including Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan, and School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan, rebel AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam, his loyalist and former Minister K Pandiarajan cast their votes. While Chief Minister K Palaniswami was the first to cast his vote at 10 am, AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) legislator and former Minister S Semmalai was the last to exercise his franchise by 11.56 am. Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) Pankaj Agarwal said two polling agents of opposition candidate Meira Kumar - Karan Singh Dalal and Geeta Bhukkal - were present at the place of polling. Earlier, at about 8.30 am the ballot box was inspected by authorities at the strong room in the Assembly complex and brought to the polling station (conference hall) by 9.10 am. Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cast his vote in Gujarat. Of the 31 legislators, four are from the Naga People's Front, four from the Nationalist People Party and one independent in the BJP-led coalition headed by N Biren Singh in the assembly.