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  India   All India  11 Jul 2018  Congress hits out at PM’s joint polls proposal

Congress hits out at PM’s joint polls proposal

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 11, 2018, 2:35 am IST
Updated : Jul 11, 2018, 2:35 am IST

The Law Commission has been consulting political parties to give shape to the Central government’s concept of “one nation, one election”.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi
 Abhishek Manu Singhvi

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday rejected the Central government’s proposal for holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies in the country, saying it was preposterous and a  constitutional perversity.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the proposal, if accepted, would hit at the very core of democracy in India.

“Holding simultaneous elections would require the dissolution of several legislative Assemblies which are still halfway (or less) through their terms. This would be a betrayal of the electorate in those states and would result in a significant expense to the exchequer.”

Even if simultaneous elections are held there is no guarantee that all the state governments would serve their full five-year terms, he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has on more than one occasion called for holding simultaneous polls across the country. In a television interview in January, he said that such a move will save a lot of money and also let politicians focus on works for full five years without being disturbed by elections which, according to him, had become a “round-the-year” event in India.

Hitting out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for proposing simultaneous polls as a money-saving measure, Mr Singhvi said, “A parliamentary standing committee estimates the entire cost of elections for Lok Sabha and all Assemblies as `4,500 crore. We would like to advise the Prime Minister to first stop spending `4,600 crore of public money on self-promotion and propaganda.”

The Congress also reminded the government that it would need two-third majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution before going ahead with simultaneous polls.

The Law Commission has been consulting political parties to give shape to the Central government’s concept of “one nation, one election”.

An internal working paper of the commission had recommended holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously but in two phases beginning 2019. However, political parties are divided on the issue.

Tags: abhishek manu singhvi, prime minister narendra modi