Jailed YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and former Andhra Pradesh minister Mopidevi Venkatramna Thursday cast their votes in the presidential election.
Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, was brought to the state assembly building amid tight security. Legislators of his party welcomed him as he got down from the special vehicle in the assembly premises around 12.15 p.m.
Amid slogans of ‘Jai Jagan’, the son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy entered the building to cast his vote.
Jagan and former minister Mopidevi Venkatramna, a member of the assembly from the ruling Congress, were brought in separate vehicles from Chanchalguda Central Jail. Both have been jailed in the case relating to Jagan’s illegal assets.
Both Jagan and Venkatramna spent 10 to 15 minutes in the assembly and were later escorted back to the jail. Those who called on Jagan at the assembly include his mother Y.S. Vijayalakshmi.
A special court had permitted both the leaders to cast their vote.
The YSR Congress, which has two MPs and 17 members of assembly, has already declared its support for United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee. Against him is former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, who is being backed by the BJP, the AIADMK and BJD.
As polling to elect India’s new president proceeded smoothly and briskly, speaker Nadendla Manohar was the first to cast his vote.
Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarsimha, some of his cabinet colleagues, YSR Congress Party honorary president Y.S. Vijayalakshmi were among those who exercised their franchise at the committee hall in the first hour.
Members of assembly will cast their votes here till 5 p.m. while four members of parliament from have also sought permission to vote in Hyderabad.
The ruling Congress party has 155 members in the 294-member assembly.
Defying Telugu Desam Party’s diktat, five legislators of the party also turned up at the assembly to exercise the franchise. The TDP, which has 85 members in the assembly, has decided to abstain from voting.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has two MPs and 17 MLAs, has decided to abstain and so has the Communist Party of India (CPI).
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, which has one MP and seven MLAs, will be voting for Mukherjee. The CPI-M and Lok Satta, which have a legislator each, have also declared support to Mukherjee.