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Braving exit poll results that indicate a Modi return, anti-BJP forces continue hectic parleys

Braving exit poll results that indicate a Modi return, anti-BJP forces continue hectic parleys

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 22 May 2019, 08:09 am

New Delhi, May 22 (IBNS): Despite all exit polls indicating a Narendra Modi wave in the Lok Sabha polls, several conflicting anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forces are trying to pose ready for an alternative to the present regime once the election results come out on May 23.

The initiative was first started by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu, while Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar took it further on Wednesday by calling opposition leaders Naveen Patnaik, K Chandrasekhar Rao and Jagan Mohan Reddy.

After Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy refused to attend an opposition's meet in the national capital, Naidu flew down to Bengaluru to meet the opposition leader as well as former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.

In the exit polls, Naidu has been shown on the losing side in Andhra Pradesh as Jagan's YSR Congress is set to sweep the southern state.

Naidu is opposed to Jagan, who is the opposition leader in Andhra Pradesh, and he has a strenuous relationship with Rao. A few months ago, Naidu and Rao had attacked each other when Telangana went to state polls.

Not losing hope apparently, Naidu on Monday met West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, who is also shown to receive a jolt from the BJP in the exit polls, at her Kalighat residence in south Kolkata.

Naidu had previously met Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav.

Mayawati, who fought the elections in Uttar Pradesh in an alliance with Akhilesh and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), also preferred to wait till May 23 results after some exit polls predicted BJP's comfortable numbers in the northern state.

Interestingly a day ago, Akhilesh and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal were seen supporting each other on Twitter. Reciprocating support from Akhilesh, Kejriwal retweeted saying, "We are also with you Akhilesh ji."

Meanwhile on Tuesday, representatives of 21 opposition parties met the Election Commission (EC) with demands of tracking of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and extensive use of Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT).

But all the efforts of opposition parties to cobble up the numbers will come into play only when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) fails to get 272 seats, the majority mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

In various exit polls, which came out on the last day of polling on May 19, NDA is predicted to win seats ranging from 277 to 369. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, NDA had secured 336 with 282 of them coming from BJP itself.

However, the exit polls have already been rubbished by several opposition leaders.

Mamata Banerjee was the first to reject the exit polls by calling it a "gossip". "I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together" she had tweeted.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has urged party workers not get demoralised due to the exit polls and said her party's hard work will be paid off.