Thiruvananthapuram: A BJP MLA from UP voted in the Presidential polls from here on Monday, giving the NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu her only possible saffron party vote from Kerala, which otherwise has no elected representatives from the southern state.
BJP’s Sevapuri MLA Neel Ratan Singh Patel, who is currently undergoing Ayurvedic treatment at a hospital in northern Palakkad district, traveled up to Thiruvananthapuram to exercise his franchise at a polling station set up at the state Assembly complex.
”I am very lucky that I have got an opportunity to cast my vote for the presidential poll in this beautiful state,” Patel told PTI after casting his vote.
Patel said he represents the Sevapuri Assembly segment falling under the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat represented by PM Modi.
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”I am currently undergoing ayurvedic treatment at a facility in Palakkad. I reached Thiruvananthapurm yesterday by road to cast my vote (in the presidential poll). I will go back to Varanasi on August 5th after the treatment”, Patel said.
Since there are no representatives for the BJP or its alliance in the 140-member Assembly, 20 Lok Sabha seats and in the Rajya Sabha, 100 percent of the MPs and MLAs belonging to both the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and opposition Congress-led UDF candidate will vote for the opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha in the presidential poll.
Besides Patel, DMK MP from neighbouring state Tamil Nadu, S Gnanathiraviam, also visited Thiruvananthapuram to cast his votes in the polls. DMK supports opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha in the presidential election.
When contacted, Gnanathiraviam, representing Tirunelveli Lok Sabha seat told PTI that he was infected with COVID-19 and that is the reason why he decided to travel to nearby Thiruvananthapuram to exercise his franchise.
Official sources said Gnanathiraviam and Patel are the only two people’s representatives from outside Kerala who are voting in Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, voting is underway in the presidential polls in the state. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan voted in the election taking a small break from the ongoing Assembly session.