Prez poll: BJP panel to probe cross voting
Bangalore: Stung by unexpected cross-voting from its flock in the Presidential poll, the ruling BJP in Karnataka Monday said it has decided to form a committee to go into the issue that has again brought out the simmering factionalism in the state unit.
"There are doubts that 14 BJP MLAs have cross voted. We will soon set up a committee to probe the matter and identify those who indulged in it", Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
The party had taken the issue "seriously", Shettar said, a day after the Presidential polls, in which UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee received 117 votes in the state while NDA backed PA Sangma mustered 103 votes in the 224-member Assembly. Three votes were invalid while one MLA did not vote.
Mukherjee had a pledged support 98 MLAs -- 71 from Congress and 27 from JD(S) -- but he managed to secure 19 more. Sangma polled 103 votes, though BJP has 119 MLAs.
Shettar said the state unit party President K S Eswarappa, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, has announced a committee into the cross-voting and action would be taken after getting its report.
He, however, refused to comment whether the BJP will issue a whip to its members during the voting on finance bills in the on-going assembly budget session to avert a similar situation.
Shettar who only recently took over as Chief Minister from D V Sadananda Gowda after renewed dissidence, is himself now facing rebellion by a section of MLAs who are unhappy over denial of ministerial berths to them.
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