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Meira to get majority of Kerala MLAs’ votes

| | Kochi

Marxist Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress’ Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala were among the 138 Kerala MLAs who cast their votes in the State Assembly on Monday to elect the 14th President of the country. There were a total of 139 votes for the presidential election from the 140-member State Assembly.

One vote was missing as the Vengara seat is lying vacant after Muslim League leader PK Kunhalikutty resigned as MLA from there following his election to the Lok Sabha from Malappuram in the by-election held on April 12. Former Chief Ministers Oommen Chandy and VS Achuthanandan were among the early voters.

Of the 139 votes, 138 were expected to go into the kitty of Opposition candidate Meira Kumar as both the main fronts, CPI(M)-led ruling LDF and Congress-led UDF, had already announced their decision to vote for her. Only one vote — of lone BJP MLA O Rajagopal — was to favour NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind whose crowning, however, is a foregone conclusion.

Former Minister KM Mani, chairman of the Kerala Congress (M), a former UDF constituent and presently sitting as a separate bloc in the Assembly, had the other day made it clear that his party’s six legislators would vote for Kumar. Seven-time legislator and former KC(M) leader PC George also had announced that he would vote for Kumar.

One MLA, Muslim League’s Parakkal Abdulla from Kuttiadi, had sought permission to cast his vote in Chennai as he was there for treatment. The value of one vote from Kerala was 152. The 29 lawmakers from Kerala in Parliament — 20 in the Lok Sabha and nine in the Rajya Sabha — cast their votes in the President election in Delhi.

The UDF’s election agent, former Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, was the first MLA to vote while Marxist Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was the sixth. CPI(M)’s KJ Maxi from Kochi was the last MLA to vote. Meira Kumar, during her visit to Kerala as candidate earlier, had met all top leaders of the Left and the Congress-led alliance 

 
 
 

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