New Delhi: Before the presidential election, the BJP said it was going to the big battle before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But the party was left red-faced after some of its MLAs in Karnataka voted in favour of UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee instead of BJP-backed PA Sangma.
Even though Mukherjee's win was a mere formality given the UPA's strength and the support from across the political spectrum which included some constituents of the Left Front and even two key BJP allies - the Shiv Sena and the JD(U) - voting in favour of him, the BJP was confident that Sangma would get the support of all its MLAs.
Despite the Karnataka fiasco, BJP maintained that the party was united and the reasons for the cross-voting would be investigated.
"We have received the news that some MLAs have cross voted. The party has taken note of the development and we will find out who have done this and the reason behind the moves. The matter will be thoroughly investigated," BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Hussain, however, insisted that the BJP in Karnataka remains united and all the matters have been resolved under the leadership of new Chief Ministers Jagdish Shettar. "There is no problem in the BJP in Karnataka," he said.
To keep things under control in Karnataka, the BJP had changed the Chief Minister just before the presidential elections.
When asked if Karnataka is out of BJP's grasp despite the last-minute change of guard, Hussain said, "Not at all. Karnataka is still in the hands of the BJP and there will be no problem in Karnataka. Yes, there may be some cross-voting in favour of Pranab Mukherjee in Karnataka, but as far as the BJP is concerned, all the MLAs there are united."
On the issue of the disciplinary actions that the party may take against the MLAs who have cross voted, Hussain said, "It's hard to determine who has voted for whom in Presidential poll, so the party may have faced this problem. It's hard to detect the MLAs, but the party has taken note of it."