Agartala/Kohima, July 19 (IANS) Except legislators of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), most of the lawmakers from the northeastern states cast their votes along party lines Thursday to elect India's 13th president.
The ruling parties of three non-Congress ruled states in northeast India - Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim - had earlier announced support for United Progressive Alliance presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
"Except the three legislators of RSP (2) and CPI (1), all the 57 MLAs (legislators) including Chief Minister Manik Sarkar cast their votes before 12 p.m. at the lobby of the state legislative assembly," Tripura assembly secretary and assistant returning officer for the presidential elections Subhash Bhattacharjee told reporters.
The CPI and RSP legislators abstained from voting as per their parties' directions.
According to the reports from various northeastern states, most of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members from northeast have cast their votes in Mew Delhi.
Apart from Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim ruled by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front, Naga People's Front (NPF) led by Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) and Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), respectively, the remaining states - Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur - are being ruled by the Congress.
AICC general secretary and in-charge of northeast Luizinho Faleiro said Mukherjee has won the support of all key national and regional parties in the region.
In the eight northeastern states, there are 25 Lok Sabha members and 14 Rajya Sabha members.
"Of the 39 Parliament members, Mukherjee expected to get the support of 19 Congress, three CPI-M, two each of Bodo People's Front (BPF), SDF and NPF and one of AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front in Assam) members," Congress spokesman Tapas Dey told IANS in Agartala.
"Mukherjee's rival P.A. Sangma expected to get the backing of four Bharatiya Janata Party, three Asom Gana Parishad (all in Assam) and one Mizo National Front (in Mizoram) members."
Congress's ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has one Rajya Sabha and one Lok Sabha member in Meghalaya and "their vote might go to in favour of Sangma", Dey said. Sangma who hails from the state, had left the NCP before filing his nomination for president.