Simultaneous polls not possible even by 2024: Nitish

Simultaneous polls not possible even by 2024: Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PTI file poto

A day after the JD (U) national executive passed a resolution supporting “simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday argued that it may be difficult to implement the ambitious plan even by 2024.

“Forget 2019. Even in 2024, such move is unlikely to be implemented as this may require not only consensus among all the parties concerned, but a constitutional amendment has to be brought in and passed by Parliament as well as State Assemblies. Several rules and laws (related to Representation of People’s Act) will have to be changed. These things will take time. It may take a few years to implement the arduous task,” said Nitish here at the state capital.

The Bihar chief minister was interacting with the media after concluding his weekly programme - Lok Samvad (Public Interface).

Reiterating that he had always favoured for “one nation, one poll”, Nitish said, “I have been advocating for it for quite long...much before the current round of discussion started. I have always maintained that simultaneous polls will save time, money and energy. But it’s equally true that to implement the plan, you can’t dismiss any Assembly or increase the tenure of an Assembly so that polls are held along with LS elections.”

The Bihar chief minister also advocated state funding for elections as this could help minimise the role of black money in the polls.

Clarifying that his phone call to RJD chief Lalu Prasad was a courtesy call, the JD (U) strongman said, “Lalu ji has been an old friend. I have enquired about his health on four occasions. But some people (read: Tejashwi Yadav) make unnecessary hue and cry and use uncharitable language. This kind of behaviour is not proper in a democratic set-up.”

Reiterating that his alliance with the BJP was firm, Nitish said any talk of resentment over seat-sharing (for Lok Sabha polls) has no meaning as this issue has not been discussed by the two parties at all. “I will hold talks with Amit Shah on July 12. Phir dekha jayega. (We will see it later),” quipped Nitish, in an oblique reference that he was keeping all his options open.

 

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