Presidential poll: Sisodia votes, BJP leader says 10 AAP MLAs may support Kovind
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and rebel Kapil Mishra were among those who cast their ballot early in the day. BJP MLA OP Sharma said at least 10-12 AAP legislators are upset with Kejriwal and could cross-vote.delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 14:25 IST
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was one of the first few MLAs to reach the Delhi assembly on Monday morning to vote for the presidential election. The AAP senior leader voted at around 10.20am, minutes after voting started across the country at 10am. A BJP MLA, meanwhile, claimed that at least 10-12 AAP MLAs would cross-vote.
Outside the Delhi Vidhan Sabha, Sisodia told reporters, “More than who wins, it’s important that the country wins.”
Sacked AAP leader Kapil Mishra, who was also a Delhi cabinet minister, was among those who came in early to vote. Mishra, who spoke to reporters outside the assembly, said, “My vote went out to the one who is all set to become the President.”
Room number 31 in the state assembly has been converted to a polling booth for Monday. Two of the four BJP MLAs OP Sharma and Jagdish Pradhan also voted early.
“The NDA will with a huge margin because at least 10-12 AAP MLAs who are unhappy with the Arvind Kejriwal will cross vote in favour of Ram Nath Kovind,” said BJP MLA Sharma. Responding to reports of AAP MLAs cross-voting, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The MLAs should follow their conscience while voting. In democracy whoever has the number wins. We are supporting Meira Kumar.”
The voting at the state assembly will be held till 5pm. A total of 69 legislators – 65 from the AAP and three from the BJP — will vote for the two presidential candidates Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar.
Kovind, former Bihar governor, is the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate while former speaker Meira Kumar is the opposition’s candidate.
The AAP is supporting Meira Kumar, who if elected could be the second woman President of the country. Following a meeting of its political affairs committee, the party has reportedly decided to back Kumar. Kumar also met the party chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday. She also tweeted a photograph of their meeting.