Opposition leaders set to meet; also to move EC over VVPATs
Opposition leaders are citing previous examples when exit polls were proved wrong, as also elsewhere in the world like the surprise result in Australia
Top opposition leaders will meet in the national capital on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a non-NDA alliance staking claim to government formation and also move the Election Commission to press for their demand of tallying paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with electronic voting machine (EVM) figures.
Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), TDP's Chandrababu Naidu, Satish Chandra Misra of the BSP, Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), D Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Derek O'Brien of the TMC are expected to take part in Tuesday's meeting among others.
Notwithstanding exit polls that have predicted a majority for the BJP-led NDA, the opposition is going ahead with its strategy as most parties have trashed the forecast and claimed that the NDA would not get a majority in the Lok Sabha.
According to sources, leaders of opposition parties such as the Congress, TDP, Left parties, BSP, NCP and TMC will informally meet to discuss the way forward in case the NDA fails to get to the majority mark.
Opposition leaders are citing previous examples when exit polls were proved wrong, as also elsewhere in the world like the surprise result in Australia.
As part of his efforts to unite the opposition, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader Naidu held a meeting on Monday with his West Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee, at her Kolkata residence on forming a non-BJP government at the Centre in case of a hung verdict.
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav also telephoned Banerjee on Monday and discussed the strategy of the "Mahagathbandhan", sources said.
Naidu has been moving around across the country and has held several rounds of discussions with top opposition leaders in a bid to unite them and form an alliance to stake claim to form the next government in case the NDA falls short of the majority mark.
Akhilesh and Mayawati also held a meeting on Monday and discussed their strategy going forward.
However, in view of the exit polls, the opposition has turned a bit cautious and decided not to hold any formal meetings.
On Sunday, Naidu met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi separately in New Delhi, besides NCP supremo Pawar.
Sources said the opposition strategy was to procure letters of support from various parties and in case of a hung verdict, to present the same before the president to stake claim to form the government.
They added that the opposition did not want to leave anything to chance and did not wish to waste any time in staking a claim for government formation and thus, was putting its house in order.
Opposition parties will also be meeting the Election Commission and demand tallying of VVPAT slips with EVM figures in an entire Assembly constituency in case a discrepancy is found in any polling booth.
Andhra Pradesh CM & TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, along with 21 opposition parties leaders, will meet Election Commission tomorrow at 3 pm. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/z9gY0PWgpv— ANI (@ANI) May 20, 2019
The Supreme Court has asked the EC to tally the VVPAT slips with the EVM figures of five polling stations in each Assembly constituency across the country, which may delay the results.
In another related development, the apex court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23 for Lok Sabha polls.
Top News Stories Of The Day
- Mumbai: TikTok user arrested for dangerous bike stunts back in 2017
- Travel agent dupes south Mumbai travellers of Rs 3.08 lakh
- Mumbai Crime: Four nabbed for illegal soil excavation in Gorai
- Mumbai crime: Within four hours of murder, cops nab 2 accused
- Shiv Sena corporator, Salman Khan discuss Being Human for BMC
- Congress leaders' discuss water issues with Mumbai civic chief
- How did you spend our money? BMC chief asks the Railways
- Mumbai: Sion flyover to be shut for one month
- Can we leave the fireflies alone, please?
- Alert Mumbai Metro staff helps commuter get back lost wallet in four hours
- Mumbai lift mishap: BDL lift has not had a licence for last 14 years
- Pune: Loud purring alerts cops to leopard cubs being smuggled
- Between the real and the abstract
- The future of Idli Manchurian
- Smita Thackeray, Maanayata Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan at an event in Andheri
- Remembering Rajiv Gandhi: Rare pictures of former Prime Minister of India
- British Royal kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis play in the woods
- These photos of Amruta Fadnavis enjoying the rains are romantic as ever!
- Popular Mumbai salons that Bollywood's top actresses visit
- mid day editorial: Let's start making every drop of water count
- British Royal kids George, Charlotte and Louis play in the woods
Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
PM Narendra Modi wishes Rahul Gandhi on his birthday!