The Election Commission of India Wednesday said it will be logistically capable of holding simultaneous polls to state assemblies and Lok Sabha by September 2018. The BJP has been pushing for simultaneous polls to assemblies and Lok Sabha but not all political parties are on board.
Election Commissioner O P Rawat, who was in Bhopal for the launch of the ERONet software to check inaccuracy and duplicity, told reporters that the government had sought a response from the Election Commission on the holding of simultaneous state and national polls.
The poll body, he said, told the government that funds would be needed for requisite number of EVMs and VVPATs and had got Rs 3,400 crore and Rs 12,000 crore respectively.
Rawat said orders had been placed with two government undertakings and the delivery of machines had already begun. He said all machines would be delivered by September 2018 after which the Election Commission would be in a position to hold simultaneous polls.
Around 40 lakh EVMs and VVPATs would be needed for simultaneous poll. “We will be logistically ready to hold simultaneous polls by September 2018 but it is up to the government to take a decision and make necessary legal amendments for it,’’ Rawat said.
In 2018, elections to assemblies in seven states will be due — Gujarat (terms ends January 22); Himachal Pradesh (January 7); Karnataka (May 28); Meghalaya (March 6); Mizoram (December 15); Nagaland (March 13); and, Tripura (March 14). Barring Mizoram, elections in the remaining six will be over by September.