MLC Nitish not eligible to vote in Prez poll

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who unequivocally supported UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the race to Raisina Hills, actually did not vote for him here on Thursday.

Not that he was miffed with Mukherjee, or, for that matter, with the Congress. The reason for his non-participation in the Presidential voting, which took place here on the Assembly premises, was that Nitish is a member of Legislative Council, and, therefore, not entitled to exercise his franchise.

Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, too, faced a similar dilemma, when he could not vote for BJP-backed Presidential candidate P A Sangma.

Modi, much like Nitish, is a member of the Upper House (Council) and therefore could not participate in the voting. He, however, went to the polling venue to ensure that all the 91 BJP members in the Bihar Assembly voted in favour of Sangma.

However, senior BJP leader and Health Minister in Nitish’s Cabinet Ashwani Kumar Choubey was conspicuous by his absence. The party later clarified that Choubey was on a foreign tour.
The four Congress MLAs and 117 out of 118 JD(U) legislators voted for Pranab.

The only JD(U) MLA who could not exercise his franchise was Damodar Singh, who is ailing and advised bed rest. As per the latest figures, 241 MLAs out of 243 members in the state Assembly voted for their respective candidates.

Another notable politician who could not take part in the Presidential election was former chief minister Rabri Devi. Like Nitish and Modi, she is also MLC, and, therefore, not entitled to participate in the electoral process which elects the First Citizen of the country.

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