- PM Modi has asked for states to hold polls along with national elections
- Polls can be advanced and deferred in some states to meet goal: Sources
- BJP sources list states and how it plans to change poll dates
To underline its commitment to simultaneous polls, the BJP is considering holding assembly elections in at least 11 states along with the Lok Sabha polls, which are due in the first half of the next year.
A top party leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they are exploring the possibility of deferring assembly elections of some states by a few months and advancing some others to ensure they are held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.
The terms of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh assemblies will expire in January next year and the governments of these BJP-ruled states may recommend a brief spell of governor's rule so that assembly elections there could be held with the Lok Sabha polls, he said.
The tenure of the assembly in the Congress-ruled Mizoram is ending in December this year.
BJP sources said other states where assembly polls can be advanced to enable it to be held with the Lok Sabha polls are Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra - all under the BJP's rule.
Assembly elections in these three states are also scheduled next year following the Lok Sabha polls.
Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana are anyway scheduled to be held with the parliamentary polls, he said.
Another state where talks of advancing assembly elections are doing the rounds is Bihar, where they are due in 2020 end. The BJP is a junior partner in the state government led by JDU's Nitish Kumar.
Former Lok Sabha secretary general and constitutional expert PDT Acharya, however, questioned the legal validity of imposing the governor's rule in states where assembly elections are due before the Lok Sabha polls.
The governor's rule can be imposed only in case of constitutional breakdown, he said.
There is a view within the BJP that holding assembly elections of as many states as possible with the Lok Sabha polls will be a positive plank in its favour as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly emphasised his support to the idea.
With the opposition parties like the Congress being against the idea, the government is not in a position to effect the constitutional amendment that the exercise of holding assembly and Lok Sabha polls simultaneously would require.
By clubbing assembly elections in states ruled mostly by the BJP, the party would send a message that it means business, its leaders said.
This would also help the party counter the anti-incumbency factor in states ruled by it.
BJP president Amit Shah on Monday wrote to the Law Commission stating his party was in favour of simultaneous elections, saying it would curb expenditure and ensure the nation is not in "election mode" throughout the year.