President poll: NCP rubbishes "rumours" of cross voting

Gopalkrishna Gandhi *** Local Caption *** Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Gopalkrishna Gandhi *** Local Caption *** Gopalkrishna Gandhi

The opposition's presidential nominee, Meira Kumar, today met the Congress MPs and MLAs from Himachal Pradesh and urged them to use their "conscience" while voting in the July 17 election to the country's top constitutional post. Sources in the MIM told The Sunday Guardian that the party might abstain from the election to prove that it is equidistant from both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress.

As part of their campaign for presidential and vice-presidential elections, Opposition candidates Meira Kumar and Gopalkrishna Gandhi will hold an interactive session with MPs of 18 non-NDA parties on Sunday.

The Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and NCP group leader in the assembly Jayant Patil rubbished claims made by a section of NDA that some Congress and NCP members would vote for its candidate Ram Nath Kovind. "The party has taken a stand, and we are making all possible efforts to ensure that Meira Kumar wins". The Opposition expects 90 plus votes in favour of Meira Kumar.

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"The rumours that NCP MPs and MLAs are voting for the NDA presidential candidate are false. All will vote for Meira Kumar", said a senior MIM leader speaking to Express here on Saturday evening.

Amarinder Singh, however, had confessed that the Congress was late in announcing Meira Kumar's candidature.

In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP has 122 members, Sena-63, Congress-42, NCP-41, Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWP-I)- three, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA)- three, MIM - two, MNS, Samajwadi Party, BBM, CPI-M and RSP - one each and Independents - seven.

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