Unfazed by exit poll 2019 prediction, top opposition leaders discuss government formation

New Delhi: Top opposition leaders are now in a meeting in New Delhi to discuss the possibility of a non-NDA alliance staking claim to government formation and also move the Election Commission to press for their demand of tallying paper trail of votes (VVPATs) with electronic voting machine (EVM) figures.

Leaders of opposition parties such as the Congress, TDP, Left parties, BSP, NCP and TMC are meeting informally to discuss the way forward in case the NDA fails to get to the majority mark.

Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu, Satish Chandra Misra of the BSP, Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), D Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Derek O’Brien of the TMC are at the meeting.

Notwithstanding exit polls that have predicted a majority for the BJP-led NDA, the opposition is going ahead with its strategy as most parties have trashed the forecast and claimed that the NDA would not get a majority in the Lok Sabha.

Opposition leaders are citing previous examples when exit polls were proved wrong, as also elsewhere in the world like the surprise result in Australia.

As part of his efforts to unite the opposition, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader Naidu held a meeting on Monday with his West Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee, at her Kolkata residence on forming a non-BJP government at the Centre in case of a hung verdict.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also telephoned Banerjee on Monday and discussed the strategy of the “Mahagathbandhan”, sources said.

Naidu has been moving around across the country and has held several rounds of discussions with top opposition leaders in a bid to unite them and form an alliance to stake claim to form the next government in case the NDA falls short of the majority mark