Chandrababu Naidu says he will continue efforts for a non-BJP coalition

Updated: May 20, 2019, 20:15 IST | mid-day online desk

N. Chandrababu Naidu said he will continue his efforts to go for Non-BJP coalition in case the exit polls prove to be wrong and the NDA doesn't get enough seats

Chandrababu Naidu says he will continue efforts for a non-BJP coalition
Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said he would continue his efforts to forge a non-BJP coalition till May 23, the day of the counting of votes.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief told reporters before leaving for Kolkata to meet West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee that he will continue the efforts to take them to a logical conclusion.

Naidu, who had held a series of meeting during last two days with several leaders including United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, said the efforts were aimed at forging an alternative.

"I met all so that a collective decision is taken. I will continue my efforts till May 23," he said.

Naidu reiterated that time and again exit polls failed to catch the people's pulse.

"Exit polls have proved to be incorrect and far from ground reality in many instances," he had tweeted Sunday after the majority of the exit polls shows BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will form the government by winning about 300 seats.

"While undoubtedly TDP govt will be formed in AP, we are confident that non-BJP parties will form a non-BJP govt at the center," he said in another tweet.

Naidu slammed the Election Commission, saying it lost its credibility by its actions like giving clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.

He reiterated that the Electronic Voting Machines can be manipulated and demanded that the poll body count VVPAT slips to bring transparency in the system and create confidence among people.

Naidu said he would consult Banerjee and other leaders before taking a decision on whether to stage a sit-in at the Election Commission or make a representation to the President.

The TDP chief said despite the doubts expressed by 23 parties on the functioning of EVMs, the Election Commission was making no effort to ensure transparency and accountability in the system.

Naidu said the EVMs could be manipulated remotely and hence the parties were demanding counting of VVPAT slips.

He said the fact that so many parties were concerned about the safety of EVMs was a bad indication for democracy. "In my 40-year political career I never saw this kind of situation," he said.

Later in the day, Naidu met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee to discuss the prospects of the post-poll alliance of the opposition parties against the BJP, sources said. The two leaders had a 45-minute-long meeting that was held at Banerjee's residence in south Kolkata's Kalighat.

Naidu was welcomed by Banerjee's nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim. According to the sources, the two leaders discussed the importance of uniting all the anti-BJP parties under one umbrella and constituting a common minimum agenda.

With inputs from IANS

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