Modi renews pitch for simultaneous polls

Last Updated 19 January 2018, 18:16 IST

Amid talk of 'one nation, one poll', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he alone will not be able to call for simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

In an interview to Zee News, Modi said although he favoured 'one nation, one poll', he wanted all political parties to understand the hardships faced by the country and the huge costs involved in the exercise.

"Simultaneous polls won't happen if I want it or the BJP wants it. It will happen only if all parties want it," the prime minister said.

He said the 2014 Lok Sabha elections cost the national exchequer Rs 4,000 crore and almost a similar amount is spent in a staggered manner when Assembly elections are held.

"Our idea is to create a planned election system. The polling could be held in a certain week across the country at one time," Modi said.

Modi's renewed pitch for simultaneous elections comes at a time when a think-tank headed by BJP Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahastrabuddhe organised a seminar on 'one nation, one poll' over the weekend in Mumbai.

EPF figures

On his much-touted slogan of creating jobs, Modi evaded a direct reply but said the Employees Provident Fund Organisation data shows that 70 lakh new accounts have been opened in the last one year. "I am not talking in thin air, EPF figures are not wrong," the prime minister said.

He said that 10 crore people have benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana under which Rs 4 lakh crore has been given as loans to small entrepreneurs.

(Published 19 January 2018, 18:02 IST)

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