Continuing his efforts to unite opposition parties against the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha results, TDP chief and the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu met with former prime minister and JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda, and his son and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy later in the day on Tuesday, 21 May in Bengaluru, the official sources said.
After his meeting with Kumaraswamy and Deve Gowda, Naidu said that there is nothing wrong in Rahul Gandhi being the prime minister face.
“All of us will sit together and discuss after results.”N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh
JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda, on the other hand, shunned away from any talks of a coalition between him and Naidu during the meet.
“Unless results are announced, we are not discussing anything about coalition.”HD Deve Gowda, JD(S) Leader
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister was expected to discuss the post election result scenario and weigh all options in case of a hung Parliament even though various exit polls have forecast the return of Narendra Modi government.
Naidu on Sunday, 19 May met Congress’ Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Sharad Pawar and Communist Party of India’s (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury, among other leaders to discuss the issue.
On Saturday, 18 May, he held talks with opposition leaders, including Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav in the national capital, New Delhi and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati in Lucknow.
Naidu Demands Transparency of EVMs
Naidu, as part of his efforts to mobilise opposition parties on the controversy over alleged manipulation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), confabulated with Gowda for over an hour on the issue. Naidu said 23 parties were raising the issue and demanding transparency and accountability.
"Earlier, even the BJP had opposed EVMs. In Uttar Pradesh, we are seeing EVMs in hotels and homes... strong rooms are being changed," Naidu alleged.
Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacking the bogey of EVM raised by the opposition, Naidu said:
“Why is the PM opposing? There is EVM and VVPAT. You have spent Rs 9,000 crore... Why are you not showing transparency and accountability? This means you are doing mischief. You are manipulating EVMs.”
Gowda said, he too had written about the EVMs to the Election Commission in 2006 itself and added that he felt ballot papers should be brought back to avoid these complications.
Already locked in a battle with the EC over the reliability of the EVMs, the opposition parties have pressed for their demand of increasing the tallying of the paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with EVM figures and have submitted a memorandum to the poll panel in New Delhi.