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EVM issue gathers steam, opposition leaders to press for demands today

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New Delhi, May 20: Two days ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results, representatives of 21 opposition parties will meet in the national capital on Tuesday to discuss the political situation and possibilities of a non-NDA alliance to stake claim for government formation.

Opposition leaders

The opposition parties are demanding tallying of VVPAT slips with EVM figures in an entire Assembly constituency in case a discrepancy is found in any polling booth. The court has asked the EC to tally the VVPAT slips with the EVM figures of five polling stations in each Assembly constituency across the country, which may delay the results.

Amidst exit poll predictions, Naidu holds another round of talks with opposition

According to reports, leaders of opposition parties such as the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Left parties, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) will informally meet on Tuesday to discuss the way forward in case the BJP-led NDA fails to get to the majority mark.

Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Sharad Pawar of the NCP, N Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP, 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 expected to take part in Tuesday's meeting among others.

The opposition leaders are alleging that the EVMs have been "compromised" and "can be manipulated", and thus, there should be tallying of its figures with VVPAT slips.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Naidu continued to voice his suspicions about the alleged manipulation of EVMs on Monday, even as he said political parties were now busy protecting the machines as there were rumours that the data stored in those was being changed using a frequency.

The TDP chief claimed that manipulating an EVM was as easy as tapping a phone and reiterated his demand for 50 per cent voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) verification in the Lok Sabha polls.

His statement came in the wake of exit polls predicting another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with some saying the NDA will get over 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 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.

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