Ready to face elections any time: Congress

Ready to face elections any time: Congress
Congress on Thursday said it was ready to face Parliamentary elections “any time” even as Election Commissioner O P Rawat suggested that the poll authority would be in a position to hold simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and assembly by September next year.
Congress is in an upbeat mood having been able to pin down the Modi government on issues such as slowdown of the economy, increasing unemployment and the “faulty” implementation of the Goods and Services Tax regime.
“We are prepared to face elections any time,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters here.
He said the people of the country were “fed up” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this “jumlas” and were waiting to give a “befitting reply” as they did in 2004 when the Vajpayee government was defeated in the Lok Sabha elections.
The sudden focus on the advancement of Lok Sabha election comes against the backdrop of Election Commissioner O P Rawat's remarks that the poll authority would be “logistically equipped” by September 2018 to conduct parliamentary and assembly elections together.
Surjewala said the government must have sounded out the Election Commission about advancing the Lok Sabha elections but the Congress party had no such knowledge.
A section in the Congress believes that Modi could advance the Lok Sabha elections to December next year to coincide with the assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Rajasthan. A senior leader said elections to the Odisha, Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu could also be advanced to December next year.
“Such a move would help Modi-led BJP reduce the impact of anti-incumbency against the state governments such as Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh,” a senior leader said.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is tipped to be elevated to the post of party president later this month, too stepped up attack against Modi by asking the prime minister to step aside if he was unable to deliver on his promises.
“If Modiji cannot address these, he should say so and Congress will come and do his work in six months,” Rahul had said in Amethi on Wednesday referring to BJP's promise of creating jobs and kickstarting the sluggish economy.
“People of this country are waiting for elections to happen so that they can actually ask Modiji, where are the acche din (good days),” Surjewala said.

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