‘Operation Lotus’ in Jharkhand? Cross-voting alerts Congress after Droupadi Murmu gets 70 out of 79 votes

Reported By:DNA Web Team| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Jul 23, 2022, 11:58 AM IST

Chinks in the Opposition unity came to the fore following cross-voting in several states in favour of Droupadi Murmu during the presidential election in which the NDA candidate won by a sizeable margin. 

In Jharkhand, out of the 79 votes polled in the 81-member Assembly, 70 went in Murmu’s favour while Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha received just nine votes. One vote was found invalid and one MLA did not turn up due to ill-health. 

While Hemant Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), who is the coalition partner in the state with the Congress, had already extended its support to Murmu, the Congress is concerned over the cross-voting done by its MLAs and is fearing that the BJP might do an ‘Operation Lotus’, reports The Indian Express.

Congress spokesperson and the party’s ‘Sashaktikaran Abhiyaan’ convenor Alok Dubey said that at least nine party MLAs cross-voted in Murmu’s favour. 

The Indian Express quoted a senior Congress acknowledging that there was “some amount of dissatisfaction in the state Congress”. 

“Given the current situation, where Operation Lotus can be a reality in Jharkhand any time, this cross-voting needs to be assessed. Some Congress MLAs, though, may have voted for Murmu since there is no provision for whip,” he was quoted as saying. 

Soren’s meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah last month had already rsaised several eyebrows in the state’s political circles as it came amid the political crisis that unfolded in Maharashtra. 

While the Congress suspects that something is brewing between the JMM and the BJP, political experts believe that doing a Maharashtra in Jharkhand would hardly reap any benefits to the BJP given that the coalition government has already completed more than half of its tenure. 

The JMM-Congress combine in Jharkhand had won 25 of the 28 seats in the tribal belt in 2019, while the BJP managed to stake claim to two seats. The JMM has 30, the Congress 16 and the BJP 25 MLAs in Jharkhand’s 81-member legislature.

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