Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday. “Had a good discussion prior to the announcement of Lok Sabha election results,” Naidu tweeted. “The Opposition stands united.”
The meeting came a day after exit polls predicted a comfortable victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance. Some exits poll predicted that Naidu would struggle to retain power in Andhra Pradesh. Banerjee has dismissed exit polls as “gossip” and urged Opposition parties to be “united, strong and bold”.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister landed in Kolkata at 5 pm. He then travelled to Banerjee’s Kalighat residence, where he held a long meeting with her, Hindustan Times reported. Two unidentified Trinamool Congress leaders told PTI that the two leaders “decided to hold detailed discussion” with other Opposition leaders after the elections results are declared on May 23.
Naidu’s meeting with Mamata Banerjee came two days after he held discussions with Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati about the possibility of a grand Opposition coalition following the Lok Sabha election results. The Andhra Pradesh chief minister also met Communist Party of India leaders G Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja in Delhi.
Meeting with Election Commission
On Tuesday, a few Opposition leaders will meet the Election Commission to talk about tallying paper trail of votes, or VVPATs, with electronic voting machine figures, PTI reported. On May 7, the Supreme Court declined to hear a review petition filed by 21 Opposition parties urging it to direct the poll panel to cross-check at least 50% votes using Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips during the Lok Sabha elections that concluded on Sunday.
The court has asked the Election Commission to tally the VVPAT slips with the figures in five voting machines in each Assembly constituency.