Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik today announced his party's support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposal for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
Assembly polls in Odisha have been held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election since 2004.
Elections were essential in a democracy, Mr Patnaik told reporters here, adding, "We are elected to work for the people. Elections throughout the year disturb the development works. Therefore, we support simultaneous polls."
He further said, "We support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and assemblies. This will serve the country well."
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief aired his views on the matter ahead of the Law Commission's two-day meeting from July 7 in New Delhi with political parties and other stakeholders on holding simultaneous elections.
The Law Commission had sought Mr Patnaik's views on the prime minister's proposal.
Soon after Mr Patnaik expressed his views, BJD MP Tathagat Satpathy wrote on Twitter, saying he supported the party chief's stand.
"He (Patnaik) has been way ahead in this by sacrificing a full year by syncing assembly elections with Lok Sabha way back in 2004. A true leader in real life," Mr Satpathy added.
BJD sources said Puri MP Pinaki Mishra will represent the party at the meeting convened by the Law Commission.
Modi, while addressing the governing council of NITI Aayog on June 17, had called for a "widespread" debate on holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies and said if implemented, it would result in savings.
The NITI Aayog had last year suggested synchronised, two-phase Lok Sabha and Assembly polls from 2024.