Guwahati: Altogether 119 of the 126 legislators cast their votes for the presidential election in the assembly at Dispur on Monday.

Of the 126 MLAs, 123 cast their votes in the assembly while Congress MLA Bharat Chandra Narah has sought permission to exercise his franchise in the Parliament as he is in New Delhi for treatment.

Two AIUDF legislators— Suzzamuddin Laskar and Nizamuddin Choudhury are currently outside the country.

Legislators of both the ruling NDA and Opposition Congress and AIUDF were seen queuing on the assembly premises before voting began at 10 AM.

Most of the cabinet ministers and Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia have cast their votes, an official said.

AIUDF MLAs came in a group to cast their votes, but two of their 15 legislators abstained from exercising their franchise as they are away in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.

AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal had earlier announced that the party will vote in favour of NDA presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu, but a day before the election changed the decision and said its lawmakers would vote for Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.

Several BJP MLAs had visited Ajmal’s residence on Sunday requesting him to again change the decision and vote for Murmu.

Reacting to this, party MLA Aminul Islam said on Monday, “BJP has double standards. On one hand, it says it does not have anything to do with AIUDF, and on the other, it does not hesitate to shamelessly ask for our votes.”

An Assam MLA’s vote is valued at 116 with the total value being 14,616.

The ruling NDA has 79 MLAs, while three BPF members who support the alliance but have not formally joined it are also likely to vote for Murmu.

Congress has 27 MLAs but three of them have been suspended due to anti-party activities and they have not made it clear in whose favour they will vote.

CPI (M) MLA Monoranjan Talukdar and Independent member Akhil Gogoi have pledged their support to Sinha.

Assam has a total of 21 MPs, 14 in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha, and the total value of the votes is 14,700.


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