Voting for Presidential poll under way at Punjab, Haryana assemblies

Chandigarh, July 18

Voting for the Presidential election in which NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu is pitted against joint opposition pick Yashwant Sinha began at the Punjab and Haryana Assembly complexes at 10am on Monday.

Necessary arrangements for the polling had been made at the Vidhan Sabha complexes and the voting would be held till 5pm, officials said.

In Punjab, MLAs who cast their vote early in the day included Congress’s Partap Bajwa, Sukhpal Khaira and Sukhjinder Randhawa, and AAP leader and cabinet minister Lal Chand Kataruchak.

In Haryana, minister Kamal Gupta was the first to vote. Many MLAs from the ruling BJP-Jannayak Janata Party reached the Assembly complex for the polling while legislators from the main opposition Congress are expected to vote in the afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, Punjab Congress MLA Khaira said, “We will vote for Yashwant Sinha and we expect that he will become the country’s next President.”

In the 117-member Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the AAP has 92 MLAs while the Congress has 18.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has three legislators while the BJP has two, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) one and there is one Independent MLA.

The AAP and the Congress have declared their support to Sinha while the SAD and BSP have extended support to Murmu.

The vote value of each of the MLA in the Punjab Assembly is 116, an official said.

Out of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, the Congress has eight MPs, the SAD and BJP have two each while one is from the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).

All seven Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab are from the AAP.

In the 90-member Haryana Assembly, 89 MLAs will cast their vote in the Vidhan Sabha complex while Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, who had cross-voted in last month’s Rajya Sabha polls and was subsequently expelled from all party positions, will cast his vote in the Parliament House.

In the Haryana Assembly, the vote value of each of the MLA is 112, which pegs the cumulative value at 10,080.

The vote value of an MLA is calculated on the basis of the total population of the state, based on the 1971 census.

For the MPs, the value of the vote was reduced to 700 from 708 due to the absence of a Legislative Assembly in Jammu and Kashmir.

Elected members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and elected MLAs are entitled to vote.

In Haryana, the BJP has 40 MLAs while the Congress has 31, though Bishnoi had earlier turned rebel.

The JJP, an ally of the BJP, has 10 legislators while the Indian National Lok Dal and Haryana Lokhit Party, which are supporting the NDA candidate, have one MLA each. Seven are Independents.

All 10 Lok Sabha MPs from Haryana are from the BJP.

Three of the five Rajya Sabha MPs from the state are from the BJP, one is a BJP-backed Independent while one member belongs to the Congress.

Voting for Presidential poll under way at Punjab, Haryana assemblies