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‘Simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls not feasible’

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Navin Chawla on Sunday said it was his personal opinion that holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and Assemblies was not feasible.

The Election Commission was not mandated to hold simultaneous elections and only Parliament could make a law in this regard, Mr. Chawla told journalists in Shimla. The CEC was in Himachal Pradesh capital to review the progress of distribution of photo identity cards by the State Election department.

He said: “Democracy has spread out and many new dimensions have been added. And as such, I do not think it is possible to hold simultaneous elections.”

In early 1950s, the Election Commission used to hold simultaneous polls to both the legislative bodies in the State as well as in Delhi (Lok Sabha). But the States were not bifurcated then. Later, due to increase in the number of States and practical problems like Assemblies getting dissolved or kept in suspended animation it had practically become impossible to hold simultaneous polls and the move was discontinued.

Mr. Chawla dismissed as “baseless” reports on the tamperability of the electronic voting machines (EVMs). He said the machines were functioning well. The accounting process in the EVMs was irreversible and many countries had emulated India on the EVM usage. So far 82 per cent of the voters in the country were given ID cards, he said. He asked the Himachal Pradesh government to ensure cent per cent coverage of the cards by September end from the present 94 per cent.

On the “paid news” issue, he said the Election Commission had received only one complaint. More such complaints should be made to the Commission so that action could be taken against the guilty.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 10:10:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lsquoSimultaneous-Lok-Sabha-Assembly-polls-not-feasiblersquo/article16243252.ece

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