Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met leaders of his ruling alliance and expressed concerns over the doubts raised by the Opposition parties about electronic voting machines, PTI reported. After the meeting, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters that Modi had called it a “needless controversy”.
Earlier in the day, several Opposition leaders had raised concerns about the transportation of the voting machines ahead of counting of votes. The Election Commission, however, clarified that the machines were “absolutely safe” in strongrooms and the allegations of them being moved around allegedly to replace polled EVMs were false.
Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah met leaders and ministers of 36 constituents of the National Democratic Alliance to “thank them for their service to the nation”. Leaders of three other partners sent letters of support for the meeting, said Singh.
The meeting came two days after the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections concluded. Modi’s tenure as prime minister ends on May 25, and whether he will be re-elected will be known on Thursday after votes are counted.
The Aabhar Milan of the Union council of ministers was held at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi. Amit Shah had hosted a dinner for the party’s leaders and its allies at the Ashoka Hotel in Delhi earlier in the day. Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Shiv Sena leaders Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray, and Apna Dal representative Anupriya Patel were among those who attended the event.
A resolution passed by the alliance expressed concern over the “systematic assault by the Opposition on institutions ranging from the CAG [Comptroller and Auditor General of India], Election Commission and judiciary to police and armed forces”, PTI reported.
The alliance said it represents the dreams and aspirations of 130 crore Indians and that the NDA has become a principal figure in Indian politics. It pledged to make India “strong, developed, prosperous and inclusive” by 2022, when India completes 75 years of independence, Rajnath Singh said. The coalition also called the elections decisive for the country.
Modi addressed the leaders, stressing the need to change the narrative from caste lines and orient it for the poor, Singh said.
Ram Vilas Paswan, who accompanied Singh in the media briefing, warned Opposition leaders doubting EVMs of “tit for tat”. He said Modi had turned emotional while speaking about political violence against BJP workers in Kerala and West Bengal.
The alliance said in the resolution that if re-elected, the government planned a capital investment of Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure and Rs 25 lakh crore for agriculture and rural sectors.