He is still identified as Congress MLA along with two others in the 60- member house where CPI-M has 51 legislators. “There is no tradition of whip in presidential election and MLAs and MPs are free to cast their vote on individual choice. So, I preferred Kovindji considering his past and personality,” said Ratan Lal Nath. Apart from Nath, six former Trinamool congress MLAs have also voted for Kovind while 51 Left and two Congress members voted for Meira Kumar. Three MPs of Tripura have also voted for Meira Kumar in the Parliament.
The value of each vote of Tripura is calculated as 26. However, one CPI-M member and Speaker of Tripura legislative assembly Ramendra Chandra Nath cast his vote in West Bengal assembly today, as he has been undergoing treatment in a Kolkata hospital. Six Trinamool Congress MLAs tendered resignation from the party following Mamata Banerjee's decision to support left back presidential nominee Meira Kumar.
But none of them who voted NDA candidate is yet to join in BJP formally. The CPI-M members justifying their stand to vote for Meira Kumar stated that this time President election is holding on single point consideration and leftists backed Congress nominee because she was carrying secular identity. “ The way BJP is shaping India is the biggest threat to us and this is the only reason we restrained from voting Kovindji to pass the message that secular forces have not yet died,” said parliamentary affairs minister Tapan Chakraborty.
Echoing the same sentiment, Tripura Pradesh Congress president and MLA Birajit Sinha said India is facing a serious crisis to retain its secular entity during Modi’s rule and added, “the President is the custodian of the constitution and being an Indian we cannot lease out the country to hardcore Hindu believers.” Meanwhile, six former Trinamool MLAs argued that they left Congress last year when Sonia Gandhi joined hands with the communist to defeat Mamata Banerjee and this year they had to leave Trinamool when Mamata supported the CPI-M backed candidate. “We are ready to go to any extent to defeat the communists and for this we can sacrifice our lives too,” said leader of the six dissident MLAs Sudip Roy Barman. (UNI)