Leaving nothing to chance
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Leaving nothing to chance
UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee had little to worry about in terms of competition from P A Sangma when voting was going on for the Presidential election, but there was another senior Congressman who had some cause for worry. Home Minister P Chidambaram was not ready to leave anything to chance as far as security of the Parliament building during the voting process was concerned, and was personally monitoring the arrangements. He arrived at Parliament half an hour before the voting was to begin, it is learnt — just to check whether all security arrangements were in place.
The Trinamool Congress has had to face several embarrassments during this Presidential election process, but one of its MPs had some sense of achievement. Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien became the first legislator from the Anglo-Indian community to participate in the Presidential election. And he was ecstatic. "Thrilled...Humbled to be the 1st from the Anglo-Indian community to every vote in a Presidential election," he said on Twitter after voting. The Constitution provides for two people from the Anglo-Indian community to be nominated to the Lok Sabha. Members of this community have been nominated to the Rajya Sabha as well. But nominated members are not eligible to vote in the Presidential election, though they can vote for the election of the Vice-President. O'Brien happens to be the first member of the community who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha. But he too could have missed out, since his party had initially decided to abstain from the election, and changed its mind only two days before voting.
For divine intervention
Kanumuri Bapiraju, Congress MP from Narsapuram in Andhra Pradesh, who is also the chairperson of the Tirupati Temple Trust, was the first MP to cast his vote in the Presidential election on Thursday. Though he was not the first in the queue, Bapiraju was allowed the privilege after he apparently said he had come straight from Tirupati with the blessings of Lord Balaji for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee. As he entered the polling booth, he removed his shoes as if entering a temple, folded his hands as in a prayer to remember Lord Balaji and then cast his vote.
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