Modi talks of simultaneous LS, assembly polls, Cong takes dig at him

Modi talks of simultaneous LS, assembly polls, Cong takes dig at him

Modi talks of simultaneous LS, assembly polls, Cong takes dig at him
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today once again made a strong pitch for holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies, a suggestion that found favour with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, but drew barbs from opposition Congress.

"These days there is talk of frequent elections. People say hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. Chief Ministers are here. They have to go to the people every five years. Sometime even three-four times as there are frequent elections.

"All parties are telling me how elections to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha can be held simultaneously because things get stalled and a lot of time is spent on elections. Decisions remain pending for 40-50 days due to Model Code. Opposition leaders had also met me and asked to find a way out," Modi told a Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts here.

The issue, raised by the Prime Minister for the first time at a public forum, also got support from Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. She said it would help save time and money.

"Some leaders have raised it earlier also and demanded a solution. It is a right thing to say that Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections should be held together, as many leaders have raised the issue earlier also. Many are of the view that it will help save time and money. Let us see what the Election Commission says on this.

"This issue is under discussion and it needs to be rightly discussed further. It is a good thought and is an idea worth considering," Mahajan told reporters. Earlier Modi had raised the issue at BJP's National Executive meeting here last month where party members favoured his view.

However, Congress' leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, when asked about the suggestion, said, "They (the Centre) are not even saving democracy and are neither protecting the Constitution, but are talking of holding elections to both Lok Sabha and state assemblies (simultaneously)."

Congress has been locked in a bitter verbal duel with BJP and the Centre over sacking of its government in Uttarakhand and imposition of President's rule in the state.

Among those present at the Judges conference included Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Devendra Fadnavis, Manohar Lal Khattar, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Navin Patnaik, Raman Singh, N Chandrababu Naidu, Virbhadra Singh and deputy CM Manish Sisodia, besides a host of judges.

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