Updated: June 6, 2018 7:24:00 am
Uttar Pradesh has given the go-ahead to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘one nation, one poll’ idea for simultaneous state and national elections and offered suggestions for its implementation. Officials said the state has become the first in the country to back the idea.
Principal secretary (information) Avaneesh Awasthi said a state cabinet minister Sidhartha Nath Singh-led seven-member committee submitted a report on Monday in this regard. He added it was being sent to the Centre.
The report was first submitted to chief minister Yogi Adityanath and has proposed common electoral rolls for local, state and national elections.
The panel suggested the terms of some of the state assemblies be curtailed and others extended. It added the elections to the assemblies, whose terms are ending before December 31, 2021, should be held along with the 2019 national election and those whose elections are due before the Lok Sabha polls.
The December 2021 cut-off has been suggested as it will mark the mid-way from the first sitting of the next Lok Sabha. The panel has suggested the elections to state assemblies, whose terms end after December 31, 2021, can take place along with the 2024 Lok Sabha election. It has been proposed that local bodies can join the common electoral cycle from 2029 since linking them would take time.
The next assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh would be held in 2024 while they are due two years earlier if the state’s proposal is accepted. Similarly, assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Bihar could take place with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said the panel has proposed linking of Aadhar with voter IDs to remove duplication.
“In the world’s biggest democracy, we should ensure we do not end up spending five years on elections. We contest elections for five years. When the state elections are over, Lok Sabha polls follow. When Lok Sabha polls end, then there are local body elections,” said Adityanath said in a statement. “When elections take place repeatedly officials get busy, development works stop and attention is diverted.” Adityanath said his government formed the panel following Modi’s call for the country’s larger benefit.
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