Pranab Mukherjee’s presidential bid is expected to draw favour from several unexpected quarters from Gujarat.
Mahuva’ MLA, Dr Kanubhai Kalsariya for one has declared that he is going to vote for Mukherjee in the elections to be held on July 19. In a brief meeting recently with Shaktisinh Gohil, the BJP MLA was invited to Congress’s dinner gathering on the eve of the presidential polls on Wednesday. He is ambivalent about attending it, but affirms that his decision to vote for Mukherjee is clear.
“I have no problem with BJP’s candidate (PA) Sangma; I am upset with BJP’s policies. As for the dinner gathering, I am still considering it. BJP has stopped calling me in their meetings for the last one year anyway,” a disgruntled Dr Kalsariya said on Tuesday while talking to DNA.
Though the Gujarat Congress officially claims that they do not need to go out and woo people for cross-voting, sources claim Mukherjee may bag a few votes from the top echelons of the BJP, including some from Modi’s ministry. “The likelihood of any cross-voting from Congress is minimal. Congress’s 58 MLAs and three of NCP have confirmed their votes for Mukherjee. JD (U)’s Chhotu Vasava will go with their national diktat of going with Mukherjee for president and Jaswant Singh for V-P. However, a minister in Modi’s cabinet and Mukherjee share an uncanny similarity in their disposition to a major corporate house. This vote may swing for Pranabda. The same corporate is house expected to influence a few others too,” a source said.
Gujarat’s share on count of votes for the presidential polls is 52,950. The value of vote of one MP is 708, while that of an MLA is 147. There are 182 MLAs in Gujarat and their vote value is 26,754, while the MPs’ vote value is 26,196. BJP has decided to support PA Sangma as the presidential candidate and the ruling party has 121 MLAs, 11 lok sabha MPs and eight rajya sabha MPs. On the other hand, the Congress has 55 MLAs, 15 lok sabha MPs and three rajya sabha MPs. Apart from these, there are three MLAs from NCP, two from Janata Dal (U) and one independent MLA.