Rebel BJP MLA votes for Pranab, rest toe party lines
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Rebel BJP MLA from Mahuva and known critic of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Kanu Kalsariya, voted for UPA's Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee in the polling held at the state Assembly here on Thursday.
Two Independent MLAs, Dinesh Patel from Padra constituency in Vadodara and Ranchchod Mer from Dhandhuka constituency in Ahmedabad district, voted for Purno Sangma, the NDA's Presidential candidate.
Corporate vice-president of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Parimal Nathwani, who is an Independent Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, voted in favour of Mukherjee.
From the 121 BJP MLAs in the state, Sangma got at least 120 votes, including that of Sarkhej MLA Amit Shah who has been debarred from Gujarat and so had to vote in Parliament in Delhi.
Kalsariya's is the only known BJP vote going against Sangma.
Three BJP Rajya Sabha MPs, Parshottam Rupala, Bharatsinh Parmar and Mansukh Mandaviya, voted in favour of Sangma.
Opposition Congress's 55 MLAs and three NCP MLAs voted for Mukherjee.
After casting his vote, Nathwani said, "I voted for Pranab Mukherjee. I had also accompanied him when he filed his nomination."
Kalasriya told mediapersons, "My voters and I are totally unhappy with the anti-farmer and anti-poor policies of the Narendra Modi government and so as per the will of my people, I voted against the NDA's presidential candidate and for Mukherjee. I found nothing objectionable in his personality."
Dinesh Patel said he and Ranchchod Mer voted for Sangma.
The voting started at 10 am. Modi was the first to cast his vote, followed by state Congress president and Porbandar MLA Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil.
D M Patel, secretary, Gujarat Assembly, said ballot papers would be dispatched to Delhi on Friday.
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