New Delhi/Bangalore, July 22 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party was stunned Sunday as around 16 of its legislators in the faction-ridden Karnataka unit seem to have voted for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential poll.
Mukherjee, the veteran Congressman, got 117 against 103 votes polled by P. A. Sangma, who was backed by the BJP and other opposition parties.
Sangma's vote count shows that 16 BJP legislators have let him down and more so their party.
The BJP, ruling Karnataka for the first time, has 119 members in the 225-member assembly, in which one seat is vacant. It also has the support of one of the seven Independents.
Of the 224, only 223 were eligible to vote as one is a nominated member.
All 223 voted and three votes were declared invalid after the count in New Delhi
If there was no-cross voting Mukherjee would have got 98 votes, 71 of Congress and 27 of Janata Dal-Secular which had pledged support to him.
It is quite possible that Mukherjee has got votes of six Independents also, which would have taken the tally to 104 if there was no cross-voting by BJP.
If this is the case, then 13 BJP legislators have voted for Mukherjee as three votes have been declared invalid.
The state BJP leaders declined commenting on the embarrassing development. However in Delhi, party spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said they would "look into the issue".
The value of votes polled by Mukherjee in Karnataka was 15,327 while it was 13,493 for Sangma.