Chauhan advocates State funding of elections

Is happy over a clear mandate to new govt

Bhopal: Advocating simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls across the country, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Sunday said that the country’s Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of the States should be directly elected by people.

“For strengthening democracy further, it is absolutely necessary to hold the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the country simultaneously,” Mr. Chauhan said at a function organised to mark the Madhya Pradesh Toursim Day.

“Direct elections for the post of Prime Minister and Chief Ministers should also be held,” he said.

National debate

Noting that time has come for engaging people in a national debate to think over the issue, the Chief Minister said lot of time and money was being wasted in holding polls frequently. “The time and money thus saved can be utilised for the development of the nation and welfare of the people,” he said.

Mr. Chauhan also advocated the State funding of elections to check the growing expenses on polls resulting in parties emphasising on collecting donations which have its own after-effects. “The State funding will lead to transparency in public life,” he said.

Though upset over the defeat of the BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha polls, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said he is “happy” as the people have given a nearly clear mandate to the new government liberating it from the “pulls and pressures” of the allies.

“If senior BJP leader L. K. Advani had become the Prime Minister, the future of the country would have been different,” Mr. Chauhan said. “But as a person I am happy that the people have given a clear mandate (though a little bit short) and the government has enough opportunity to perform,” said the BJP leader. –PTI