Acting against party line, senior Congress MLA in Odisha Mohammed Moquim casted his vote in favour of NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, who is a tribal leader from Odisha.
Moquim himself informed this to the media after casting his vote for the ongoing election to the highest position in India, here at Room No-54 of the Odisha Legislative Assembly.
“The MLAs have their independence to choose the suitable candidate for the presidential post. As an Odia, I thought that I will feel proud if my vote will help Murmu to win the election,” said the MLA from Barabati-Cuttack constituency.
As whip cannot be applicable in the presidential election, I voted as per the dictates of my conscience, said Moquim. The MLA also informed that many of his well-wishers, friends and some big personalities have requested him to support Murmu.
Commenting on the cross voting made by Moquim, Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra said all MLAs had unitedly decided to vote for opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.
Usually, action has not been taken against any member as whip cannot be issued in this election. However, the way in which Moquim has made statements before the media, will be inquired and the party will take final call on this matter, said Mishra.
State Congress president Sarat Pattanayak Pattanayak said, “All Congress MLAs have decided here to support Sinha. However, we came to know from the media that one of our MLAs has not voted for Sinha. We will inform our high command about this.”
The Congress party has nine legislators in the 147-member Odisha Assembly.
Stating it is unfortunate, Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said this cross voting of Moquim proves that he is not satisfied with the party’s decision.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and many MLAs have casted their votes in the ongoing presidential election at the state Assembly.
Moquim was reportedly in the race for state Congress president post following the resignation of senior party leader Niranjan Patnaik. However, the AICC high command appointed Sarat Pattanayak for the position in May this year. The Congress MLA had also reportedly resigned from the post of secretary of Congress legislature party last month.