Simultaneous polls against democracy, says Congress

Updated - July 10, 2018 11:29 pm IST

Published - July 10, 2018 11:16 pm IST - New Delhi

An EVM and a VVPAT machine. File Photo

An EVM and a VVPAT machine. File Photo

Dismissing the idea of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, the Congress on Tuesday called it a “Constitutional perversity” and claimed that it went against the very core of Indian democracy.

But the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and YSR Congress, the two parties that met the Law Commission on the last day of its consultations on simultaneous polls, extended their support to the idea.

Though the Congress stayed away from the Law Commission deliberations, senior party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi held a press conference on the subject. “It goes against the grain of the Constitution, its basic structure and hits at the core of democracy,” Mr. Singhvi told reporters.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong pitch for One Nation, One Election, the Law Commission prepared an internal working paper that recommended holding the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously in two phases beginning 2019.

“We support the idea and Naveen Patnaik is the originator of the idea. In 2004, he cut short the tenure of the Assembly by one whole year to have elections along with those of the Lok Sabha,” BJD MP Pinaki Misra told The Hindu .

Political parties supporting the move argue that it would save costs. But Mr. Singhvi said: “There is an RTI that says that total expenditure of holding all the elections is ₹4,500 crore, while another RTI revealed that the expenditure on publicity of the Modi government in the past four years is ₹4,600.”

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