Opposition parties lay out back-up plan after exit poll
The opposition parties termed the prediction of the PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government's victory as mere gossip on Monday. The camp also questioned the pollsters after the exit polls results were announced on Sunday.
Though the final results will be announced on May 23, the exit polls have predicted a clear majority for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
Telegu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reiterated his demands of VVPAT count. "Nobody can stop us from returning to power. These are mind games. We will get over 110 Assembly and 18 to 20 Lok Sabha seats," he told his party leaders on Monday.
The Shiv Sena, a BJP ally, hit back at the Andhra Pradesh CM. Its editorial in the party's mouthpiece, Saamna, said that the country didn't want an indecisive government. Targeting Naidu for meeting all Opposition leaders to form a non-BJP government, the editorial said that in Mahagathbandhan, there are only five candidates for prime minister.
Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Rashid Alvi smelled conspiracy in his own party's victory after exit poll numbers. Alvi told India Today, "If the exit polls are going to be true then I believe it was conspiracy when Congress won Assembly polls in MP and Rajasthan to ensure that people don't doubt the EVMs and the poll process in general elections."
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also jumped in and tweeted, "On VVPATs and the EVM tally, the EC is yet to come out with a procedure in case there is a mismatch! Even if there is one mismatch in the VVPAT samples picked for counting and EVMs, to maintain the integrity of the electoral process, all VVPATs in that assembly segment must be counted."
While the NDA is set to meet on May 21 before results are declared, the Opposition camp is also engaging with similar developments.
The meeting of 21 opposition parties will be held at the Constitution Club in New Delhi at 1.30 pm on Tuesday to discuss the possibilities of a non-NDA alliance.
Former PM HD Deve Gowda left for Tamil Nadu Monday morning where he is expected to meet the regional leaders. Naidu also met West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata to discuss post-poll possibilities on Monday. Naidu will head back to Delhi to meet other alliance leaders.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, who contested together, met in Lucknow. Reportedly, both leaders discussed the post-poll result scenario.