- Nation is sharing views on simultaneous elections: PM Modi
- Sustained efforts will strengthen democracy: PM Modi
- He said ex-PM Vajpayee brought fundamental reforms in electoral process
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the issue of simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and assembly elections was gaining momentum, days after the Election Commission ruled it out for next year. In his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, PM Modi, the key mover of the "One nation one election" idea, said the ongoing discussions on the issue signaled a healthy democracy.
"A discussion in the country is gaining momentum for having simultaneous polls in states and Centre. People are sharing their views for and against. It is good sign for healthy democracy," PM Modi said in the 47th edition of "Mann Ki Baat".
Earlier this month, BJP sources had said the government was planning to hold elections in more than a dozen states along with the general elections. No amendment of the Constitution would be needed for it, the sources had said.
But days later, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat had ruled it out, saying there is "No chance at all"."
The lawmakers will take at least a year to frame a law that can be enforceable. This process takes time. As soon as the Bill to amend the Constitution is ready, we (the Election Commission) will know that things are now moving," Mr Rawat said.
Many opposition parties, including the Congress, have questioned the feasibility of simultaneous elections and argued that it would be against federal principles, despite the government's efforts to bring everyone on board.
A couple of weeks ago, BJP chief Amit Shah wrote to the Law Commission, contending that opposition to the idea was politically motivated. The government contends that holding polls at the national and state levels will cut down on the cost of elections in terms of both time and money.
PM Modi also said former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee brought fundamental reforms in the electoral process and courageously removed shortcomings related to people's representative.