Vidhan Bhawan turns into fortress for Presidential polls
The Vidhan Bhawan has turned into a fortress where polling for Presidential elections will be held on Monday which is likely to be marred by cross voting as a section of Samajwadi Party legislators have threatened to violate party diktat and vote “as per their conscience.”
Returning officer and principal secretary (Assembly) Pradeep Kumar Dubey told reporters that all preparation for the smooth conduct of polling have been completed. He even issued guidelines of do’s and donot’s for the voters. “Separate tables have been set up for the MPs and the MLAs while special pen would be used for the first time to tick the ballot papers,” he said. “The security has been tightened in view of what happened a few days back in the Vidhan Sabha. The security would be at the highest level,” he said.
The entire assembly premises have been sealed with security personnel already been deployed at strategic points.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with his deputy and UP BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya, who are still Lok Sabha members along with some other MPs would cast their votes in Lucknow. Former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is not eligible to vote as he is the member of the legislative council. Altogether 403 assembly members are eligible to cast their votes in the Presidential polls in the state of which BJP and its ally partners have 325 members, followed by 47 of the SP, 19 of the BSP, 7 of Congress, one of RLD and three Independents.
The value of votes of the MLAs and MPs of UP is the highest in the country. The value of one MP’s vote is 708 and the value of one UP MLA vote is 208. The total value of the votes of 403 UP MLAs is 83,824. BJP and its allies have 73 Lok Sabha member out of the total 80.
According to the political calculation, the NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind, would get majority of votes from his native state in the direct contest against opposition candidate and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar. Both the candidates campaigned in UP with Kovind launching his electioneering from UP on June 25 while Kumar paid visit to the state on Fridaylast.
Though the SP, BSP, Congress and RLD members have announced their support for the opposition candidate but cross voting could be a major problem for the SP and other parties. Rebel SP MLA Shivpal Singh Yadav has already announced his support for NDA candidate while SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav too have shown his inclination towards Kovind.
Meanwhile all the political parties held meetings of their legislators to discuss their strategy. CM threw a dinner party in which BJP and law makers of its allies while SP and BSP too held a meeting. Senior Congress leader from Bihar Shakil Ahmed Khan is the representative of the opposition candidate who will monitor polls in UP.
Polling will start at 1000 hrs and will end at 1700 hrs and later the ballot boxes would be taken to Delhi for counting by service flight in the evening.
The MLAs or MPs will not be allowed to take pen, pencil or mobile phones inside the polling area besides strict security arrangement would be in place during the elections.
The counting of votes of the Presidential polls would be done on July 20.
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