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Simultaneous polls imperative to make India great: PM

twitter-logoPTI | August 15, 2019 | Updated 11:52 IST

(Eds: Adds details) New Delhi, Aug 15 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday batted for holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together, saying 'one nation, one election' is imperative to make the country great. During his address to the nation on the 73rd Independence Day, he made a fresh pitch for his pet idea, saying today India is talking about simultaneous polls which is a good thing. Supporting further dialogue on the issue among stakeholders, he said discussions should now be held on 'one nation, one election' as it is imperative to make the country "great". The prime minister has been pushing for the implementation of the idea of simultaneous polls, which first came into public discourse in 1977. Last August, the Law Commission had recommended holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies to cut expenditure and save public money. The draft, submitted to the Law Ministry, however, cautioned that "holding simultaneous elections is not possible within the existing framework of the Constitution". The Centre has been toying with the idea for quite some time now. Addressing a NITI Aayog meeting here in June, Modi had called for widespread debate and consultations on simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, keeping in view various aspects such as the resulting financial savings and consequent better utilisation of resources. The government think-tank, NITI Aayog, had last year suggested synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and Assembly polls from 2024 to ensure minimum campaign-mode disruption to governance. In June, soon after returning to power, Modi had met leaders of various political parties having representation in Parliament to explore possibilities of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together. A committee will be set up by the government to further explore the issue. PTI NAB SMN

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