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A day after exit polls gave a clear mandate to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Opposition leaders gathered to take stock of the situation. SP president Akhilesh Yadav called on BSP leader Mayawati at her home in Lucknow, and TDP leader Chandrabau Naidu headed to Kolkata for a meeting with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. NCP chief Sharad Pawar is also reportedly trying for parleys with YSR Congress Party chief Jaganmohan ReddyIn other words, efforts are on for the opposition to gather forces in case there is chance for the opposition to form the government at the centre. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue.Anchorperson Akshay posed the questions to panelists, including the Congress’s Rafat Fatima, BJP’s Dr Vikram Singh, SP’s Manoj Yadav, political expert Dr Sunil Kaushik and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Kaushik said: “Some people are alleging tampering of EVM machines. This shows desperation. On seats where the opposition leaders are wining, there too the EVMs were being tampered?”

Singh said: “Sometimes it is the timing or the persona or the EC, and even the courts have been dragged into these petty controversies. Where the opposition is shown winning, then the very same people who are blaming EVMs, keep mum. BJP had set up committees down to the booth level, focused on development works, and these elections will be like the report card of the government. Even before exit polls, we have been claiming that we are sure to some back.”

Kaushik said: “See after a long time, after Indira Gandhi, in Modi, we have a charismatic leader. Even opposition leaders privately admit that. All the allegations were levelled at Modi personally, but the common man knows that Modi is not a leader like that. PM had rushed cyclone relief to Orissa and Patnaik is with the NDA. We shall have to wait for April 23. Mamata and Mayawati are likely to fight it out for prominent positions, if they get good results.”

Akshay asked Raju on Chandrababu Naidu’s initiatives. Raju said: “This is likely to happen, and the final picture will come clearer soon on April 23. Congress is unlikely to make the government on its own.”

Rafat Fatima said: “The EVM question is genuine. All this is coming in the news channels.”

Manoj Yadav said: “People have doubts about the EVM system. They have been left aside like stray animals.” Akshay asked Yadav why these stranded EVMs can’t be shown as proof. Yadav then said: “Let the EC decide that.”

Singh said: “Please talk of EVMs which have been used for polling, not some toy EVMs.”

Kaushik said: “Some EVMs are kept in stock, some are damaged, this happens every time there is an election. The officials present there do not belong to the party in power. DMs, SPs, SSPs…they can’t all be toeing the BJP line. So I don’t agree that there is any truth in such allegations.”

Singh said:”The BJP has gracefully accepted defeat in the past, but look at these parties that are putting the blame on EVMs. People are intelligent enough to see through such lies.”

Kaushik said: “Where BJP is not in power, there the EVMs are alright?”

Rafat Fatima said: “Questions will be raised on EC too if they don’t look into the EC issue.”

Manoj Yadav said:”SP is not making false allegations. We have been taking up issues with the EC too.”

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