The Bharatiya Janata Party's woes in Karnataka just keep mounting. As if the embarrassment of heavy voting by its legislators for Pranab Mukherjee was not enough, its former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Monday slammed the party for backing P.A. Sangma.
He also took on Sangma terming as "misadventure" the latter's plan to move the Supreme Court against Mukherjee's election as the president of India.
Speaking in the assembly after a long gap, Yeddyurappa, who has been having a running battle with the BJP leadership, said Mukherjee should have been elected unanimously.
The election became inevitable "because of lack of foresight and other reasons", he said.
On Sangma's plan to go to court to challenge Mukherjee's election, Yeddyurappa said he was appealing to him "not to resort to such a misadventure".
Yeddyurappa's attack on BJP and appeal to Sangma came a day after his party found to its embarrassment that around 16 of its legislators had ditched it and the candidate it backed.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar announced Monday that a panel would be set up to identify the legislators who had voted for Mukherjee.
Shettar said it now appears that 14 BJP legislators had cross-voted. A committee would be set up soon to identify them, he told reporters.
Mukherjee bagged 117 votes to Sangma's 103, though BJP has 119 legislators in the 225-member assembly.
Only 223 Karnataka legislators voted July 19 as one seat is vacant and one is a nominated member. Three votes were invalid.
Mukherjee was assured of 97 votes - 71 of Congress and 26 of Janata Dal-Secular, which had pledged support to him. With the votes of six independents, he would have got 103 votes, if there was no cross-voting from 14 BJP legislators.