BREAKING NEWS

Opposition leaders to meet today to discuss post-poll scenario

 Ahead of the D-day when the results of the general elections would be declared on May 23rd, the Opposition leaders will meet today to discuss the political situation and modalities of a non-NDA alliance, to stake claim to form a government at the Centre.
 
To keep the opposition parties united, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting for 45 minutes with his West Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee, at her residence in Kolkata on the strategies of the “Mahagatbandhan” (Grand Alliance) course of action in case of a hung verdict. He discussed forming a non-BJP government, including the regional parties, with the support of the Congress.
 
According to sources, another meeting will be held with the other players of the Grand Alliance in case of a hung verdict after the results are declared on May 23. The decision regarding Banerjee going to New Delhi would also be taken after May 23. Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav reportedly called Banerjee and discussed the future course of action of Mahagatbandhan. 
 
Naidu had been hopping to different places in the country and holding meetings with the leaders of various opposition parties to united them and stake a claim to form the next government, in case the NDA fails to secure the magic number.
 
On Monday evening, Naidu met Banerjee again to discuss the political scenario in the wake of exit poll predictions. On Sunday, he met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi separately in New Delhi. He also met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. Earlier, he had met Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow, Aam Aadmi Party president Arvind Kejriwal, leaders of the Left parties and Sharad Yadav in New Delhi.
 
However, in view of the exit polls which predicted a majority for the BJP-led NDA, the opposition leaders have decided not to hold any formal meetings till the results were declared on May 23. On Saturday, senior Congress leaders also held a meeting under the guidance of Sonia Gandhi and discussed the political situation.
 
According to sources, the strategy is to seek 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 a government. Meanwhile, some of the opposition leaders have trashed the forecast of the survey agencies, citing previous examples of where they were proved wrong, the surprise result in Australia.
 
The leader of the opposition parties will also meet the Election commission (EC) and demand the tallying of the Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with the electronic voting machine (EVMs) figures as had been directed by the apex court. In case of any discrepancy found in any of the polling booth, the opposition parties are demanding that tallying be done for the entire Assembly constituency, which is likely to delay the announcement of results

Photo Gallery