BJP member votes for CPI(M) in Kerala Assembly Speaker elections

It was an expected outcome, but there was a twist in the tale when P. Sreeramakrishnan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was elected Speaker of the Kerala Assembly this morning with 92 votes, two votes more than what he could normally have hoped for.

Mr. Sreeramakrishnan defeated his United Democratic Front's Congress rival V.P. Sajeendran by 92 to 46 votes, with the UDF nominee getting one vote less than the actual strength of the UDF in the House.

Lone Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member O. Rajagopal voted for the LDF candidate. He later explained that he had cast vote for Mr. Sreeramakrishnan heeding Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala's statement on Thursday that the UDF did not require the BJP member's vote. "NDA stand is here not one of blind support or blind Opposition of either of the alliances," he said.

Pro-tem speaker S. Sarma of the CPI(M) did not cast his vote. Independent member P.C. George, who reached the Assembly fighting all the three main alliances, did not mark his preference in the ballot. He merely folded the ballot paper and put it in the ballot box, leaving his vote invalid.

The LDF's strength in the House is 91 to UDF's 47. Mr. Rajagopal and Mr. George make up the remaining two members of the House. Since Mr. Sarma did not vote, the LDF candidate would have normally got only 90 votes and since Mr. George did not mark his preference in the ballot, the total valid votes would only have been 138. Of this, 92 votes were won by the 48-year old Mr. Sreeramakrishnan, who has been elected to the Assembly for the second term from Ponnani in Malappuram district.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2021 4:16:28 AM |

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