Simultaneous Polls: SP gives conditional support,DMK terms it ‘unconstitutional’

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New Delhi, July 8 : Expressing apprehensions that ‘one nation, one election’ concept would allow national players and issues to dominate the polls, Samajwadi Party  gave a conditional support to the proposal of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies if it begins from 2019 while DMK termed it ‘unconstitutional’.

National parties such as Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) and regional political parties DMK, AIADMK, are opposed to the proposal of holding simultaneous elections saying that it was against the constitution and would dilute regional interests .

Senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav said “Samajwadi Party is in favour of simultaneous elections, but they should begin from 2019. In case public representatives switch sides or indulge in horse trading, action should be taken against them by the LG with a week.”

 

DMK working president MK Stalin in his letter to Law Commission stated,”DMK are of the firm opinion that the proposed call for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha & State Legislatures goes against the basic tenets of our Constitution”.

 

Coming out in support of one nation, one election, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chairman K. Chandrashekar Rao in his letter to Law Commission states, “TRS is strongly in favour of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies.”

Favouring ‘one nation, one election’ concept, the JD(U) passed the resolution during its ongoing national executive meet in New Delhi.

The TMC was represented by Kalyan Bandhopadhyay, a Lok Sabha member, at the meeting. His party opposed the concept, saying regional issues would be overshadowed by national issues, and national parties with their “money power” would steal a march over smaller players.

The CPI, All India United Democratic Front and Goa Forward Party also expressed similar views. The Indian Union Muslim League presented its views on electoral reforms. “But we told them that the issue at hand was simultaneous polls,” said a law panel functionary.

The ruling BJP and main Opposition party, Congress, on Saturday stayed away from day one of consultations by the Law Commission of India on the feasibility of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together.

The Congress, meanwhile, said it will consult other Opposition parties on the subject before deciding its course of action.

 

The AIADMK, represented by Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, said holding the two polls together is “desirable”, but certain “practical” and “serious” issues need to be settled first. The AIADMK, which rules Tamil Nadu, was of the view that if necessary, simultaneous elections should be held in 2024, not before that.

The BJP, which has voiced its support to the proposal, has sought more time from the commission to present its views  but it has been told to do so by 31 July as the term of the present panel expires in August end.

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