Presidential poll begins in Mumbai, Fadnavis casts vote

Judith Bessette
Julho 18, 2017

Incarcerated senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, who was allowed to cast his vote in the presidential election today, told his party colleagues that he was innocent and has done nothing wrong.

There are 288 MLAs in Maharashtra who are eligible to vote in the election including Fadnavis, who is also an MLA from Nagpur. Independent MLA Kshitij Thakur skipped the voting as he is overseas. BJP had allegedly drafted a plan to engineer a split in Congress and NCP, but NCP leader and former deputy CM Ajit Pawar had ensured that there would be no cross-voting. Both were granted permission to vote by the court.

"Kindly convey my namaskar to mothe saheb (NCP chief Sharad Pawar)".

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"I am innocent. I have not done anything wrong". Except cancer, I am suffering from nearly all other diseases now. "My only prayer is to keep me alive till I am able to prove my innocence", he said.

After casting his vote, Mr. Bhujbal was brought to the office of Assembly Speaker Ramraje Nimbalkar, where he had lunch and met party colleagues including Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde and Jitendra Awhad.

Mr. Bhujbal has been in jail for the last 16 months, after cases were registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), for alleged corruption in the tendering process for construction of the Maharashtra Sadan building in New Delhi and two more cases. Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court granted permission to Ramesh Kadam, who is in jail after his arrest in an alleged corruption case, to vote in the election.

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