Thursday, June 1, 2023

Congress claims cross-voting by AIUDF in Assam RS polls

The Congress on Saturday alleged that the AIUDF indulged in cross-voting in the recently-held Rajya Sabha election in Assam and cast their vote in favour of the ruling BJP-led alliance’s candidates, resulting in the defeat of the Opposition’s joint nominee.
Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, addressing a press conference here, said, “We want to clarify that out of 27 Congress MLAs, 25 voted for our joint candidate. One vote was disqualified while another one voted for the ruling alliance’s candidate.”
The disqualified vote was from Siddique Ahmed and the other was from Sashi Kanta Das, who had already declared that he would support the ruling alliance’s candidates. Both MLAs have been suspended from the Congress.
Election for two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam was held on Thursday with the ruling alliance’s candidates, Pabitra Margherita and Rwngra Narzary, emerging winners against outgoing MP and the Opposition’s joint nominee Ripun Bora.
Margherita polled 46 votes and Narzary 44, while Bora managed just 35 votes. All 126 members of the Assembly had voted, with one vote being disqualified.
Saikia claimed that all the remaining 25 Congress MLAs voted for Bora as did the lone CPI(M) MLA and Independent legislator, accounting for total 27 out of 35 votes that Bora received.
“The party that had assured of 15 votes gave only eight in our favour and the rest went elsewhere,” he said, apparently referring to the AIUDF which has 15 members in the House and had announced its support for Bora’s candidature.
Saikia also pointed that the Congress has moved a breach of privilege motion in the state Assembly over BJP legislators’ purported remarks inside as well as outside the House that Congress MLAs had voted for the ruling alliance’s candidates.
“The Speaker has assured us of looking into it,” he added.
The senior Congress leader questioned the AIUDF naming its agent for the election without consulting the other parties in the Opposition camp.
“They mysteriously announced their polling agent without even informing us. Why they did it is a riddle to me,” he said.
Saikia maintained that the Congress’ agent for the polls, Prithviraj Sathe, was named by the party’s central leadership, which was authorised by the state’s legislature party to nominate the polling agent.


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