India makes fresh pitch for simultaneous elections

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a fresh pitch for holding Lok Sabha and assembly polls together, saying the concept of ‘one nation, one election’ is imperative to make the country great.

During his address to the nation on the 73rd Independence Day, he said today, India is talking about simultaneous polls which is a good thing.

Last August, the Law Commission had recommended holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies to save public money.

The draft, submitted to the Law Ministry, however, cautioned that “holding simultaneous elections is not possible within the existing framework of the Constitution”.

The Centre has been toying with the idea for quite some time now.

Addressing a Niti Aayog meeting here in June, Modi had called for widespread debate and consultations on simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies, keeping in view various aspects such as the resulting financial savings and consequent better utilisation of resources.

The government think-tank, NITI Aayog, had last year suggested synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly polls from 2024 to ensure minimum campaign-mode disruption to governance.

In June, soon after returning to power, Modi had met leaders of various political parties having representation in Parliament to explore possibilities of holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections together.

A committee will be set up by the government to further explore the issue.

Source: Press Trust of India