Presidential polls 2017: AAP MLA H S Phoolka only one in Punjab not to cast vote

Aam Aadmi Party’s H S Phoolka was the only MLA in the 117-member Punjab Assembly not to cast his vote for the presidential election on Monday while in Haryana all the 90 legislators exercised their franchise. Phoolka, MLA from Dakha in Punjab, abstained from voting as he had already declared that he would not vote for Congress-led opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar since he was fighting cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The AAP, which has 20 MLAs in Punjab, has already announced its support to Kumar, a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, who is pitted against ruling NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind for the country’s top constitutional post. Out of the total 117 members in the Punjab Assembly, 116 cast their votes, election officials said.

The Congress, which stormed to power in Punjab in March after a gap of 10 years, has 77 MLAs in the Assembly, while the SAD-BJP coalition has 18 MLAs (15 of Shiromani Akali Dal and three of BJP). AAP’s ally, the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), has two MLAs. Among the Lok Sabha members from Punjab, the Congress has four and the SAD has three. The BJP had two but recently, its Gurdaspur MP Vinod Khanna passed away.

The AAP has four Lok Sabha members from Punjab, of whom two have been suspended by the party.

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