All the 81 elected MLAs of Jharkhand Assembly today cast their votes to elect the 14th president of the country.
The NDA polling agent at the Jharkhand Assembly polling station and Urban Development and Transport Minister C P Singh told media, all the 81 elected MLAs had exercised their franchise by 1.30 pm.
Singh said, polling began at 10 am as per schedule and he was among the early voters.
As per the strategy made at Chief Minister Raghubar Das' residence yesterday, most of the NDA MLAs and other legislators supporting the NDA candidate, arrived together at around 11 am to cast their votes.
The chief minister, all his cabinet colleagues and other MLAs of the NDA and its supporters exercised their franchise by 11.30 am.
Immediately after most of the NDA MLAs had cast their votes, most of the opposition MLAs, which included 19 MLAs of JMM, seven of Congress, two of Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (Prajatantrik), one each of CPI (ML-Liberation) and Marxist Coordination Committee reached the polling booth.
The opposition MLAs were led by former chief minister and leader of the opposition in the Assembly (of the JMM) Hemant Soren and JPCC president and Congress MLA Sukhdeo Bhagat, cast their votes by noon.
The JPCC president claimed that 30 MLAs, including 19 of JMM, seven of Congress, two of JVM (P) and one each of CPI (ML-Liberation) and Marxist Coordination Committee voted for Opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
BJP's chief whip Radha Krishna Kishore claimed that a total of 49 MLAs including 43 MLAs of BJP, four of Ajsu party (NDA ally) and Gita Koda of Jai Bharat Samanta Party and Bhanu Pratap Sahi of Nau Jawan Sangharsh Morcha cast their votes in favour of NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
Kushwaha Shivpujan Mehta of BSP and Anosh Ekka of Jharkhand Party also cast their votes but did not reveal for whom they had voted.
C P Singh told newsmen that although the 81 elected MLAs had cast their vote by 1.30 pm, the ballot box will only be sealed at 5 pm as per the schedule as any of the MPs from the state may cast their vote at the Jharkhand Assembly polling station.
Jharkhand has 20 MPs, including six from the Rajya Sabha.