In Meghalaya, while five legislators of the opposition Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) boycotted the Presidential election because it neither supported the Congress nor the NDA, Julius Dorphang, an Independent MLA who is in judicial custody after being arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl, could not cast his vote. A minister and another Independent MLA supporting the Congress-led government too were absent.
Official sources in Shillong said only 52 of the state’s 60 legislators cast their votes in the Presidential election on Monday. Three of them belonged to the ruling front, while four were members of the opposition HSPDP and one of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP). The UPA-sponsored candidate thus lost three vital votes in the Northeast.
Besides the five HSPDP legislators, others who did not turn up to cast their votes included PWD minister Martin M Danggo and Justine Dkhar, an independent MLA supporting the MUA government. Julius Dorphang, the Independent MLA who has been in judicial custody after being arrested in February this year for allegedly raping a girl, did not apply for permission to vote.
The legislators who boycotted the election are Ardent M Basaiawmoit, P Pangniang, Witting Mawsor and D Jyndiang of the HSPDP and Brolding Nongsiej of the United Democratic Party (UDP). The HSPDP had only recently announced its decision to abstain from the election in opposition against Kovind’s anti-minority stand and the Congress party’s alleged failure to govern.