CRACKS WITHIN K’TAKA CONGRESS AFTER EXIT POLLS PREDICTIONS?

National News

The exit poll surveys released on Sunday have been causing ripples across the country. Various exit polls have predicted a comfortable win for the NDA with 300+ seats. This seems to have riled up the opposition will opposition leaders across party lines reaching the EC’s door claiming EVM rigging and malfunction , in turn raising questions on the world’s largest democracy.

The same Exit polls seems to have caused ripples in the Karnataka Congress where senior party leader and state minister for Infrastructure, Urban development, Information and Haj, Roshan Baig has come against the party leadership of the state. Baig hit out at the Karnataka Congress calling senior Congress leader KC Venugopal a ‘buffoon’, Former chief minister Siddaramaiah ‘arrogant’ and KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao a ‘flop show’.

There are speculations that the disgruntled leader felt sidelined after he was not given the position of Deputy Chief Minister in the JD(S)-Congress coalition govt which came to power in the state last year.

The minister did not stop at this. In an interview to the Press Trust of India, he appealed to the Muslims of Karnataka ‘to compromise with the situation’ if the NDA led government happens to come back to power at the centre. He added that the muslim voters of the state must go with the BJP as he alleged that the Congress had used them for votes.

The Congress party has served him a notice, asking him to explain his comments.

Further reacting on Roshan Baig’s comments, Deputy Chief Minister Dr. G Parameshwara brushed aside his comments, calling it ‘his individual opinion’. JD(S) state president H Vishwanath on the other hand welcomed Roshan Baig’s comments saying ‘This will not affect the coalition government. Top party leaders must sit down and resolve the matter.’

With the exit polls predicting a win for the BJP in Karnataka, speculations are that the coalition government in the state will be in trouble, if these numbers come true.

BJP currently has 104 seats in the state and the majority mark is 113. If the NDA happens to come back to power at the centre, there may be lawmakers willing to jump from the Congress-JD(S) coalition helping the BJP to reach the majority mark, thereby toppling the current state government. Here, senior Congress leader Roshan Baig might play a very significant role, according to political analysts.

But will the NDA government sail back into power like the exit polls have predicted? Will the NDA’s win at the centre topple the state government? One will have to wait for May23rd for the answers to these questions.

BLOG WRITTEN BY APOORVA SHANKAR

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FROM EVM HACKING TO EVM SWAPPING, OPPOSITION MALIGNS DEMOCRACY

NEWS

When the elections were underway, Opposition leaders in India claimed that EVMs were rigged or were programmed in such a way that votes were directed to BJP or their allies, but two day ahead of the results and two days after the exit polls, the Spooked opposition has come up with a new charge, ‘EVM swapping’. Claiming reserve EVMs machine are being transported to EC strongrooms.

Shashi Tharoor
‏’I trust the Election Commission is looking into this and can provide a satisfactory explanation?’

Tejashwi Yadav
‘Visuals and claims of sudden movement of EVMs observed across the north India! Why is it so? Who is transporting these EVMs & Why? What is purpose and objective of this exercise? In order to avoid any confusion & misconception, Election Commission must issue a statement ASAP.’


A delegation of 22 Opposition parties led by Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chandrababu Naidu met the Election Commission and even submitted a memorandum with five demands.

Demand one: verification of VVPAT slips of randomly identified (05) polling stations should be done prior to the initiation of counting of votes and not after the completion of last round of counting.

Demand two: If any discrepancy is found anywhere during the VVPAT verification, 100% counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that assembly segment should be done.

Demand three: clarification over what is the procedure to be followed If there is any mismatch

Demand four: clarification over what action will be taken in case of malfunctioning during counting of votes.

Demand five: requested deletion of ‘no question of recount of votes’ clause

Election Commission later came out and dismissed all the charges made by the opposition.

ELECTION COMMISSION ‘Election Commission of India would like to emphatically and unambiguously clarify that all such reports and allegations are absolutely false.After the close of polls, all polled EVMs and VVPATs are brought under security cover to the designated strongrooms, which is sealed with double locks, in the presence of the candidates and in the presence of Observers of the Election Commission. The entire process of storage and sealing of the strongroom is covered under videography. Continuous CCTV coverage is done till completion of counting. Each strongroom is guarded with round-the-clock security by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).’

Even the ruling party slammed opposition over their charge

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister
‘EVM is good when Mamata Banerjee became West Bengal chief minister twice and Amarinder Singh became Punjab chief minister. If they win, EVM is good. But when there is expectation that we will win because people of this country want Narendra Modi to be prime minister again, then EVM is unreliable.’

Many are questioning the rationale behind this development, with several wondering if opposition will stick to this stand if the results are in their favour.

PM MODI’S CLOUD COMMENT UNDER OPPOSITION’S RADAR

NEWS

In the biggest controversy to hit BJP this election season, oppositon took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an interview to a newschannel called as NewsNation. In his interview Prime Minister said that he gave a go ahead to the Balakot Airstrike despite the poor weather conditions that were prevalent that day. The opposition attacked the Prime Minister for claiming that bad weather on the day of the air strikes benefited India as it acted as a stealth from Pakistani Radar.

RETURN OF OPERATION KAMALA 2.0

National News

The Congress-JDS alliance in Karnataka is in trouble. Congress minister DK Shivakumar claimed that BJP was poaching their leaders as a part of Operation Lotus 2.0. The senior Congress leader claimed that three Congress leaders- who were previously approached by BJP – are now lodged in a Mumbai hotel, sparking speculations of horse trading.