Former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda said on Thursday that the idea of ‘one nation, one election’ would lead to confusion among voters and said India was not yet ready for simultaneous elections.
Gowda said this a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting to build consensus on the idea where it was decided to set up a committee to give “time-bound” suggestions.
“I have my doubts because we have not gone so far ahead,” Gowda told reporters.
“Among regional parties, there are two sets of opinions on this matter. Among non-NDA regional parties, some have welcomed it and some haven’t. There might be confusion and that’s a disadvantage, the way I see it,” he said. “In the same polling booth, there will be multiple voting machines for national and state elections,” he pointed out.
The JD(S) was among the 19 political parties that skipped Wednesday’s meeting to discuss the ‘one nation, one election’ idea.
“When paper ballots were used in elections, voters were given paper slips if Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls were held together. Now that there are electronic voting machines, there’ll be a problem if polls are held simultaneously,” Gowda said. Gowda’s son, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said the ‘one nation, one election’ can wait.
“There’s no urgency on that issue,” he said. “The prime minister has to work with top priorities.”