Declining the invitation to all-party meet called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BSP supremo Mayawati Wednesday said she would have attended the event if it was to address a “national concern” over EVMs. She described the idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls as a ploy to divert attention from issues like poverty.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted an all-party meeting on Wednesday to garner support for the ‘One nation, one election’ idea, where he invited the presidents of all political parties having representatives in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to New Delhi.
Mayawati, discarding the proposal, said “elections should not be weighed from the point of view of expenditure and extravagance” and asked the BJP to desist from works and mentality that harm constitution and democracy.
The BSP chief alleged that the people’s faith in the electronic voting machines (EVMs) had dwindled to a “worrisome level”.
“The stubbornness of conducting elections through electronic voting machines instead of the ballot paper is the real threat to the democracy and Constitution of the country. The ‘one nation, one election’ is, in fact, an attempt to divert the attention from burning national issues such as poverty, inflation, unemployment and increase in violence, and is simply an illusion,” she said.
The Law Commission and Niti Aayog had proposed the idea of holding synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and Assembly polls elections from 2024, last year. This was suggested to ensure minimum disruption to the governance caused due to elections and save public money.
Several party leaders like TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, TDP’s N C Naidu, NCP’s Sharad Pawar among others had turned down the invitation earlier. Party leaders like JDU’s Nitish Kumar, NC’s Farooq Abdullah, SAD’s Sukhbir Singh Badal, BJD’s Naveen Patnaik, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, YSRCP’s Jagan Mohan Reddy were present in the meeting, held on Wednesday.
(With inputs from PTI)