HYDERABAD: As many as 117 MLAs, out of 119 legislators in the State Assembly, exercised their franchise during the polling for Presidential election held here on Monday.
While MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, who has been in London for medical treatment for the past few days, could not cast his vote, ailing TRS member Dasari Manohar Reddy (Peddapalli) too was unable to exercise his franchise as he was undergoing treatment for an illness at a hospital here.
Earlier in the day, polling for the Presidential election began at 10 am at State Assembly premises. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was the first person to cast the vote. Assembly Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary was the next person to cast his ballot, followed by Leader of Opposition K Jana Reddy. BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy was the last legislator to take part in the voting process.
At first, all TRS members including ministers, who were backing NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, reached the Assembly premises in special buses after taking part in the final round of mock polling conducted at Telangana Bhavan here. At 10.15 am all of them exercised their franchise one after another.
Later, the 13 members of the principal Opposition party, Congress, who were supporting UPA candidate Meira Kumar, casted their vote. Later, five legislators of the BJP and three of the TDP too exercised their franchise in support of Kovind. Six MLAs of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, barring party floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, and the lone member of the Left Parties also cast their ballot.
Meanwhile, KCR enquired about the health of Peddapalli MLA Manohar Reddy, who has been undergoing treatment at a corporate hospital. “The CM suggested that the MLA need not come for voting in the Presidential election as it would hamper his treatment. Based on CM’s instructions, he decided against participating in the voting process,” CMO stated in a release.
The voting process continued till 5 pm. All the ballots were then sent to Delhi, where counting will take place on July 20.
Harish Rao loses temper at MLA’s question
TRS legislator Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy had to face the ire of irrigation minister T Harish Rao at the time of casting his vote. The reason: while exercising his vote, according to sources, Reddy ran to Harish to ask him how to cast the vote for the NDA candidate. Taken aback by the doubt expressed by the MLA, an enraged Harish Rao reportedly flew off the handle at his party MLA, saying, “How could you get such doubt, even after taking part in various rounds of mock polling, earlier.”
TRS has shown its true colours: DK Aruna
Cutting across political lines, MLAs belonging to various political parties exchanged pleasantries and friendly banters, after exercising their franchise. Congress senior member DK Aruna hurled political satires at TRS MLAs for not backing UPA candidate Meira Kumar, “Who had helped the AP Reorganisation Bill become a legislation when she was Lok Sabha speaker.” “Its shame on your part. By not backing the Congress-led UPA candidate, during the Prez polls, TRS has shown its true colours,” she attacked health minister C Laxma Reddy.