NDA’s Presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind on Monday got more votes in the Northeastern states than expected, with as many as six Trinamool Congress and one Congress legislator in Tripura casting their votes in favour of him. “We have voted for Ram Nath Kovind, and there is no secrecy in this. We held a meeting on Sunday evening and decided to vote for Kovind in the interest of the people and the country,” Sudip Roy Burman, leader of the Trinamool Congress legislature party, whose six-member group is on the verge of joining the BJP, told The Indian Express over the telephone from Agartala.
While five TMC legislators of Tripura – Sudip Roy Barman, Asish Saha, Pranjit Singha Roy, Diba Chandra Hrankhawal and Biswa Bandhu Sen – cast their vote in the Tripura State Assembly, the sixth TMC MLA Dilip Sarkar, landed just in time from Kolkata to cast his vote in the afternoon. Dissident Congress legislator Ratan Lal Nath, a former leader of the opposition in the state assembly, also cast his vote in favour of the NDA candidate.
In Assam, altogether 124 out of the state’s 126 legislators cast their votes in Guwahati, while senior Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi and BPF legislator Kamal Singh Narzary cast their votes in Delhi. Three Assam MPs – Badruddin Ajmal, Sirajuddin Ajmal and Radheshyam Biswas – all belonging to the AIUDF, also cast their votes in the Assam Legislative Assembly.
Senior BJP leader and NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma said the NDA candidate would get more votes than expected across the Northeastern region. “While all the 59 legislators in Nagaland have voted for our candidate, all but one in the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh assembly have also voted for Kovind. We have 40 MLAs in Manipur, but then we are getting 42 votes there. Likewise, several independent MLAs in Meghalaya have also voted for him,” Sarma said in Guwahati.