Presidential poll: Mulayam first votes for Sangma, then rectifies it

Mulayam votes

SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who backed UPA Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee, today mistakenly cast his vote in favour of BJP-backed P A Sangma, but realised it in time and took remedial steps.

Yadav, who was among the early voters, marked his vote in favour of Sangma instead of Mukherjee but as soon as he realised the mistake he pointed it out to the polling officers and sought a fresh ballot paper, sources said.

The SP chief marked his correct preference on the fresh ballot paper issued to him by the polling officer.

The ballot paper carrying the incorrect entry made by Yadav has been deposited with the polling officer, the sources said.

The SP had backed Mukherjee after giving the ruling UPA some anxious moments as Yadav had initially teamed up with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and proposed the names of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and former President A P J Abdul Kalam as possible candidates for the 14th Presidential election.

Yadav announced his support to Mukherjee later.

Polling today began in Parliament House and state capitals for electing a new President in a race that appears clearly in favour of UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee, who faces P A Sangma sponsored by some Opposition parties.

Presidential election: Manmohan, Sonia, Pranab cast their ballots

In brisk polling in the Presidential election, around 600 MPs cast their ballots by 12.30 pm here today.

About 600 lawmakers have voted within the first two-and- a-half hours of the polling that began at 10 am, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and UPA Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee were among those who cast their ballots.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also joined the trio in exercising his franchise in the election where a clear favourite Mukherjee is pitted against P A Sangma sponsored by the BJP and some other opposition parties.

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