Kerala Legislative Assembly
Thiruvananthapuram: After the thumping victory of NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu in the presidential election of 2022, there is only one question on the minds of Malayalis: Is there any way to know who voted for Murmu in the state assembly?
Can't say there is no way. But it is impossible to happen.
The ballot paper and the counterfoil have matching numbers to identify the voter. However, the number on ballot paper is hidden with a black ink so that the voters will not be identified. This can be opened only by Court, that too if the election is questioned legally.
Murmu's election was smooth and it is unlikely to have a legal battle that would require opening the ballots. Cross-voting is not a legal issue here as the representatives do not have a whip for presidential elections.
All 140 votes from Kerala should have gone for the common candidate of the opposition Yashwant Sinha. The cross vote had become a shame for both UDF and LDF while BJP hailed the unknown member.
Janata Dal (Secular) national leadership had supported Murmu. However, K Krishnankutty and Mathew T Thomas, a minister and a former minister, are unlikely to have taken that stand. Besides, they had informed the leadership that they will not be voting for Murmu.
Though an Apna Dal MLA from UP and a Tamil Nadu MP who were in Kerala voted at state assembly, their votes are counted separately.
The voter could have been anyone. A secret love for BJP, support for the first tribal president or even just a mistake could have led to the cross-vote. We may never know unless the voter reveals himself/herself.