SHILLONG, July 17 - Altogether 52 MLAs, out of the total 60, from different parties cast their votes at the Meghalaya Assembly complex here in the Presidential poll. The poll process began at 11 this morning. Legislators from three parties – Congress, National People’s Party and United Democratic Party – cast their votes. Four legislators from the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HPDP) abstained from the elections.
Apart from those who voluntarily abstained, four others did not vote due to personal reasons and these included PWD Minister MM Danggo (Congress,) Brolding Nongsiej (UDP,) Justine Dkhar and Julius Dorphang (Independent.)
The UDP and the NPP have pledged their support for NDA’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. The Congress backed the UPA’s candidate Meria Kumar.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma led the Congress party in casting the votes. Later speaking to the media, Sangma said that the country was facing “unwarranted challenges” as the NDA government was pursuing the agendas of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS.)
He added that under the present situation, various issues are threatening the existence and way of life of the small ethnic groups of the Northeast.