Updated: July 8, 2018 2:56:33 am
Political parties were divided over the feasibility of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls and most regional parties on Saturday expressed apprehensions at the consultation process being held by the Law Commission. The Trinamool Congress vehemently opposed the proposal, sources in the Commission said. The CPI(M), CPI, AIDUF and the IUML also opposed the move, it is learnt.
According to sources, Goa Forward, an NDA ally in the small coastal state, also opposed the move. The party was represented by Vijay Sardesai, a minister in the Manohar Parrikar government.
Sources said the TMC, represented by party Lok Sabha MP Kalyan Bandhopadhyay, opposed simultaneous elections on the ground that regional issues would be “overshadowed” by national issues, that and national parties, with their “money power”, will have an advantage over regional outfits during campaign. The BJP, sources said, will present its views to the Commission by the end of this month. The Congress is yet to respond to the invitation forwarded by the Commission.
NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stand and supported the idea. Sources said SAD, represented by Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral, also cited the the Law Ministry’s view that the exercise will reduce expenditure of parties and shorten the period of the model code of conduct, which hampers development work.
Sources said the party raised the issue of Rajya Sabha elections being possibly impacted by simultaneous polls if the tenure of state Assemblies is extended.
The AIADMK, represented by Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai, voiced in-principle agreement with simultaneous polls, but is understood to have said that the change should be effected from 2024. The party wants the next Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, as well as the Lok Sabha Election, to be held on schedule.
Ten regional parties were scheduled to attend the consultation process. Pressing for a Constitutional amendment to conduct simultaneous elections, the Commission had, on April 17, decided to seek the opinion of all stakeholders, including political parties, on the issue. The move came two months after President Ram Nath Kovind endorsed Modi’s call for simultaneous elections.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.