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Prez poll: BJP miffed over cross-voting

BJP is upset over cross-voting in Karnataka by its party MLAs in the Presidential poll.

New Delhi: Upset over cross-voting in Karnataka by its party MLAs in the Presidential poll, BJP on Sunday asked its state unit to form a committee to thoroughly probe the issue and submit a report and announced that it would take appropriate action in the matter.

"The party is taking this matter very seriously. The Central leadership has asked the Karnataka BJP unit to form a committee to probe this cross-voting by our MLAs. Once we get the committee`s report we will take appropriate action," BJP general secretary in-charge of the state Dharmendra Pradhan told PTI.

Though the BJP is in power in Karnataka, UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee won 117 votes in the state while P A Sangma- who was backed by the ruling party-could win only 103 votes in the 224-member Assembly. Three votes were declared invalid while one MLA had not voted.

Mukherjee had only a pledged support 98 MLAs -- 71 from Congress and 27 from JD(S) -- but he managed to secure the support of 19 more legislators.
Sangma could only garner 103 votes, even though BJP has 119 members in the Assembly.

This has come as a shock to the BJP central leadership. However, it has come in the wake in intense infighting in the Karnataka unit of the party.

The party top brass was forced to make Lingayat leader Jagadish Shettar the chief minister on July 8. He is the third Chief Minister in the three years that the BJP has been in power in the southern state.

While sources claimed the Bellary brothers were responsible for the cross-voting in the Presidential election, others pointed fingers at former CM B S Yeddyurappa who had praised Mukherjee earlier, saying he is a good candidate.

Shettar and his predecessor Sadanand Gowda were appointed CM at the behest of Yeddyurappa, who had stepped down when he was indicted by the Karnataka Lokayukta in a graft case.