Ahead of opposition meet, Kumaraswamy cancels Delhi visit

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday cancelled his scheduled visit to the national capital on a day when opposition parties will be meeting Election Commission officials over the issues of EVMs.

The Janata Dal (Secular) leader is skipping a visit to Delhi at a time when opposition parties are in a huddle after exit polls predicted a victory of the BJP-led NDA.

Later today, 21 opposition parties will knock the doors of Election Commission (EC), pressing their demand of tallying VVPAT slips with EVM figures in an entire constituency, in case a discrepancy is found at any polling booth.

Before the visit, the parties will also hold a meeting at Delhi’s constitution club.

Ahmed Patel of Congress, Sharad Pawar of NCP, Chandrababu Naidu of TDP, Satish Chandra Misra of BSP, Sitaram Yechury of Communist Party of India (Marxist), D Raja of Communist Party of India (CPI) and Derek O’Brien of the TMC are expected to meet the officials of the poll commission.

Naidu is at the forefront of ongoing efforts to stitch a united opposition ahead of the Lok Sabha election results on May 23.

On Monday, Kumaraswamy, whose party is in alliance with Congress in Karnataka, had also expressed his concerns over EVMs and tweeted, “Entire Opposition political parties had expressed concern over the credibility of EVMs under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule. Opposition parties even knocked the doors of the Supreme Court asking for a traditional ballet paper elections to avoid defective EVMs that are vulnerable to fraud.”

In another tweet, he added, “Worldwide, even developed countries have opted for traditional polls through paper ballots. The exit poll surveys on May 19 only reiterated the serious concern of the Opposition parties on misuse of vulnerable EVMs for electoral gains by the ruling party.”

The chief minister also discredited predictions of the exit polls and said they are “being used to create an impression that there is still a Modi wave in the country.”

“This artificially engineered or manufactured Modi wave is being used by the BJP to lure regional parties well in advance to fill any shortfall after the results on May 23. The entire exit poll exercise was an effort to create a false impression of a wave in favor of one particular leader and the party. As they say, it is just an exit poll, not an exact poll,” he said in another post on the micro-blogging website.