In a major embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party's [ Images ] Karnataka [ Images ] unit, Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ], United Progressive Alliance's [ Images ] candidate who was on Sunday elected President of India [ Images ], got more votes than expected in the BJP-ruled state.
The BJP got 120 votes including that of the Speaker. The Congress had 71, Janata Dal Secular 26 votes and the Independents 7 votes. Pranab should have secured 104 votes but ended up getting 117 votes. This means 13 extra votes from the BJP were polled in his favour.
The Karnataka unit of the BJP is unlikely to take any action about this issue and is likely to brush it under the carpet.
According to sources, Members of Legislative Assembly loyal to B Sriramulu, who had recently quit the party, may have voted for Mukherjee. These loyalists include Fakirappa and Suresh Babu, but not Somashekar Reddy, who has stayed away from Sriramulu despite offering him support initially.
Other MLAs, who were disgruntled after being denied a Cabinet berth when Jagadish Shettar [ Images ] took over as the chief minister, may have also cross-voted.
MLAs Balachandra Jharkiholli and Anand Asnotikar are also suspected to have voted for Mukherjee.