Prez poll: 59 out of 60 MLAs cast votes in Arunachal

ITANAGAR, 18 Jul: Fifty-nine MLAs out of 60 in Arunachal Pradesh exercised their franchise till 12 pm on Monday to elect the new president of India, Assembly Secretary K Habung said.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu and his deputy Chowna Mein were among the early ones to cast votes in the Nokmey Namati Hall of the assembly, Habung stated.

BJP lawmaker Lokam Tassar is yet to exercise his franchise.

Taking to Twitter, Khandu said, “One of India’s Most Defining Moments. Privileged to cast my vote for 16th Presidential election in State Assembly Premises, today.”

All four Congress MLAs, including former chief minister Nabam Tuki, also cast their votes.

NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and joint opposition nominee Yashwant Sinha are the two contenders for the office of the president.

In Arunachal, the ruling BJP has 48 MLAs in the 60-member assembly, while the opposition Congress and the National People’s Party (NPP) have four each, and JD (U) has one.

The house also has three independents as members.

The four NPP MLAs and the lone JD (U) member, along with the three Independents, have pledged their support to Murmu.

Arunachal has two Lok Sabha MPs – union Law & Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju and Tapir Gao – and one upper house member, Nabam Rebia.

“The vote value of each MP is 700 across the country. MLAs in Arunachal have a vote value of eight each,” Habung said.

The BJP presidential candidate is expected to score 2,584 in the state, having secured the backing of the NPP, the JD (U) and the independents, and Sinha 32, with the support of the Congress. (PTI)