V. Sasi is Deputy Speaker of Kerala Assembly, one lawmaker votes NOTA

Thiruvananthapuram, June 29 (IANS) Communist Party of India legislator V. Sasi was on Wednesday elected the Deputy Speaker of the Kerala Assembly, which was a foregone conclusion. However, independent legislator P.C. George caught the attention of all by voting ‘NOTA’ or None of the Above.

Explaining why he wrote NOTA, George told IANS: “See, NOTA is now an accepted thing by the Election Commission, so in the ballot also it should be there too. I did not vote for any of the candidates because none asked me for my vote. I am now in the process of building up a political front which does not have any allegiance to any of the three –the LDF, UDF or the BJP.”

Sasi, a two-time CPI legislator, secured 90 votes with the Congress-led opposition candidate I.C. Balakrishnan getting 45 votes. The lone BJP legislator O. Rajagopal was not present in the house as he was attending a family function in his home town Palakkad.

In the 141-member Kerala Assembly, including one nominated Anglo-Indian nominee, the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) has 92 members while the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has 47, and then there is George and Rajagopal.

On Wednesday, Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan did not cast his vote, and there were four absentees, including two from the opposition and one from the treasury bench and Rajagopal.

George, a seven-time legislator, in the April 16 assembly polls won from his traditional Poonjar seat in Kottayam district as an independent candidate.



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