A day after the BJP said it would act against 14 MLAs in Karnataka who cross-voted in favour of UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, party strongman BS Yeddyurappa blamed senior leaders for not being able to evolve a consensus.
Later in the day, the BJP's reaction was muted. Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in Delhi, "The party has acted according to its decision (to contest the polls). And it has also said it will act against those who voted against the party line. I have nothing more to say."
The party has announced that it will enquire into the cross-voting, though some leaders believe this exercise is unlikely to yield any concrete action, as the party needs to marshal all its resources for the coming polls in the state."All parties should have come together and there should have been a thinking to elect him unanimously but because of lack of foresight, difference in opinion and other reasons, the election became inevitable," Yeddyurappa said in Bangalore.
Yeddyurappa added, "I appeal to Sangma and also through this House (the assembly) not to resort to such a misadventure. The world is watching us. It does not bring pride to anybody."
On Sunday, Sangma indicated he would move court on the election. He said the process was "exceptionally partisan" and alleged that the non-UPA ruled states were lured with packages and inducements and even threatened.
Mukherjee should have got support of 103 MLAs - 71 of Congress, 26 of JDS and 6 independents - but secured 117 votes in Karnataka as against 103 by Sangma despite the ruling BJP having 119 MLAs. Three votes were declared invalid.
In Gujarat, however, BJP is unlikely to take any action against dissident MLA Kanu Kalasaria who voted for Mukherjee. "I voted for Pranab Mukherjee to show my protest against the policies of the Modi administration," the three-time MLA from Mahuva said.
"We have not taken any decision on whether to take any action against Kalasaria for defying the party line," a BJP general secretary dealing with organisational matters said.