Oppn to meet EC again to raise VVPAT counting issue

Oppn to meet EC again to raise VVPAT counting issue

Agency News

New Delhi, May 20 : With the exit poll surveys giving a thumping majority to BJP-led NDA in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, the opposition parties are putting together all efforts to forming a government, if the saffron party did not get absolute majority and decided to reiterate their demand to count as much as VVPATs along with EVMs, alleging possible rigging.

According to opposition leaders, they will meet Election Commission on Tuesday to place their demand on VVPAT. Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desham Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu also criticised Commission and said the poll body has lost its credibility.

"50 percent VVPATs should be counted. if there is any difference between VVPAT slips and EVM counting, VVPATs should be considered", Mr Naidu had said.

Opposition leaders are pointing out that the Supreme Court had asked the Commission to count five VVPATs randomly selected from an Assembly seat, however, the apex court did not suggest any limit on VVPATs. "If they don't count VVPATs, why did Commission spend nine thousand crores? Credibility is more important than speed of counting", Mr Naidu added.

Just after the exit polls are out, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also aired her doubts on the surveys and said it was an attempt to tamper EVMs. "I don't trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip", she had tweeted.

Interestingly, the West Bengal Chief Minister also called for an opposition unity soon after the exit poll results predicts an NDA surge.

Meanwhile Mr Naidu has reached Kolkata to meet Ms Banerjee and he will return to the National Capital tonight. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is also expected to be back in Delhi, on Tuesday.

"Yes, opposition parties decided to meet the Election Commission at 1500 hours on Tuesday" confirmed D Raja of CPI. Earlier, Mr Naidu also rejected the exit polls, which have given more than 300 seats to NDA, and said those are wrong. "We have our own surveys. TDP's victory in Andhra Pradesh is 1000 percent . Last time (2014) too exit polls predicted YSRCP win in Andhra. what happened?", Mr Naidu asked.

The Telugu Desham Party chief had meetings with several leaders including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday.

He also traveled to Lucknow, on Saturday, to meet BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav, and, according to sources, requested them to attend the meeting which Ms Gandhi has arranged on May 23.

Mr Naidu had also met with Mr Pawar, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and discussed the possibilities to form a non-BJP government. (UNI)