The final tally shows that as many as 126 MLAs spread across 18 states and 17 MPs defied diktats of their respective parties to vote for her, something which appears significant because of the polarised political milieu and opposition’s attempt to turn the Presidential contest into a battle of ideologies.
The outcome, while underlining NDA’s dominance and superior managerial skills also provides, perhaps, the first hint of the emergence of a tribal constituency.
While Assam reported the highest number of MLAs cross-voting at 22, Madhya Pradesh, which has a significant number of tribal members on Congress benches, recorded 19 votes for Murmu from across-the-aisle.
Seen in conjunction with Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s late swinger in favour of the fellow Santhal, the bonus votes obviously pleased NDA managers. “Under the leadership of Modiji, I express my gratitude to NDA allies, other political parties and independent people’s representatives for voting in favor of Tribal Pride Smt. Draupadi Murmu ji. I am sure that Murmu ji’s tenure as the 15th President of India will make the country more proud, home minister Amit Shah tweeted.
Maharashtra delivered 16 surplus votes for the NDA candidate in what was being seen as a sign of continuing vulnerability of what remains of Mahrashtra Vikas Aghadi.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, who had helped BJP win an additional Rajya Sabha seat earlier this year, tweeted “Smt Droupadi Murmu polled 104 votes compared to NDA’s original strength of 79 in the 126-member Assam Assembly. Two absent”.
“My heartfelt gratitude to the people of Assam for reposing their faith in the NDA’s Presidential candidate and wholeheartedly joining this historic moment,” he added.
The most disappointing polling figures for opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha was from his home state as he got votes of only nine out of 81 in Jharkhand, whereas Murmu got 137 votes out of 147 in her home state of Odisha.
Cross voting by 10 Congress legislators in poll-bound Gujarat explains that the opposition party might not repeat its 2017 performance when it posed a strong resistance to BJP and lost by a whisker.