Wednesday, February 21, 2024

State TMC denies reports of cross-voting by legislators


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SHILLONG, July 20: Despite what social media originating in West Bengal are saying, Trinamool Congress (TMC) state party leaders have denied having voted for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu.
The social media posts have been categorical that the TMC MLAs, who had broken away from Congress in 2021, have voted for Murmu.
The truth of course will be known when the ballot boxes are opened at 11 am on Thursday.
Sources from West Bengal revealed that all five suspended Congress MLAs in Meghalaya and all TMC legislators voted in favour of Murmu instead of Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.
However, the party on Wednesday denied the same, saying it was not possible.
TMC state president Charles Pyngrope, who is in Kolkata, denied the speculations saying it was not true.
He reminded that ten TMC MLAs, and not 12, had cast their votes for the Presidential poll on Monday. Sutnga-Saipung MLA Shitlang Pale was caught up in his constituency while Mendipathar legislator Marthon Sangma had tested positive for COVID-19.
During his visit to the city on June 29, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had maintained that the party would not support Murmu as she will not be vocal against the atrocities being meted out to SCs and STs.
However, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, on the eve of the Presidential election, had said that he expected cross-voting from TMC legislators in the state in favour of the NDA candidate.
“All legislators of the MDA are going vote in favour of Murmu. However, two legislators from the alliance (James PK Sangma and Sniawbhalang Dhar) won’t be taking part in the election process due to their prior engagement. We do expect cross-voting from the Opposition (TMC) in favour of the NDA presidential candidate,” Sangma had said.
The CM’s claim was rejected by Pyngrope, who had sounded confident that there was no chance of any cross-voting. “We have made our stand clear and there will be no cross-voting from our side,” he said.
Earlier, during Murmu’s visit to Meghalaya on July 6 to seek support of the state legislators for her candidature, TMC’s Himalaya Shangpliang had set grapevine abuzz when he attended the meeting called by the state BJP to garner support for Murmu.
He later clarified that he had attended the programme because he has great respect for her. “Besides, I was given a formal invitation,” he had said.


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