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Assam joins Presidential polls with rest of India

Guwahati : Amid watertight security arrangement, Assam also joins the presidential polls on Thursday to elect Dr APJ Abdul’s Kalam’s successor even as the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) abstains from voting. The Election Commission has sent S Srinivasan as observer for the election which begins at the Assam Secretariat in Dispur at 10 am and would end at 5 pm. Notably, each of the state’s MLA has a value of 116, while an MP’s value stands at 708. AGP had made it plain that the party has issued no whip to its MLAs and the decision to abstain from the voting stands as it is one of the major ally of the Third Front which had urged the present President Dr Kalam to file his nomination again. But the all AGP MLAs are not satisfied with the Third Front decision if what a section of the MLAs say is any indication. Sources here say Congress is going with BPPF (H), NCP, CPI, and CPI (M) to ensure the smooth passage of UPA candidate Pratibha Patil while AUDF has announced its support to Patil as well. It is learnt that the lone AGP (P) vote will go in favour of NDA backed candidate and Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. The Independent MLAs have not taken any stand in the entire matter. It may be mentioned that the presidential elections is between Mr Bhairav Singh Shekhawat, an Independent candidate backed by the NDA while the UPA and its allies have put up Mrs Pratibha Patil.

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