Amit Shah bats for simultaneous polls

BJP president Amit Shah on Monday wrote to the Law Commission of India, throwing his weight behind simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, even as sources in the government said that Lok Sabha polls along with Assembly polls in at least 11 States was a feasible object of pursuit.

While Mr. Shah’s letter said that his party was in favour of simultaneous polls and termed its characterisation as something that would weaken the federal structure as “politically motivated”, senior sources in the government said it was exploring options. “It is quite possible that Assembly polls to four States (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh) be postponed, with three States (Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha) coterminous with the Lok Sabha, and by bringing forward polls in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, such an outcome could be affected,” said a senior source in the government. It was however only in the exploratory stage, he added.

A delegation from the BJP, headed by Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi along with Indian Council for Cultural Relations chief Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, party general secretary Bhupendra Yadav and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni met with the Chairman of the Law Commission Justice B.S. Chauhan and handed him the eight-page letter that spelled out the party’s view on the consultation called by the commission on the issue.

Dismisses reservations

Mr. Shah, in his letter, emphasised that holding simultaneous polls would check expenditure and the tendency of keeping the country in perpetual “election mode”.

“The country saw simultaneous polls in 1952, 1957 and 1962 and 1967 and demonstrates that this can be done again,” he said. “It may appear difficult and some issues like availability of requisite and appropriate EVMs, deployment of security forces, etc, may take some doing but it is not an impossible task,” he said.

The law panel, which is examining the feasibility of holding simultaneous polls, had sought the views of parties before finalising its report.

The Congress had met the Commission top brass recently and opposed the concept. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has all along supported the concept of simultaneous polls.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 3:26:02 PM |

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