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PM Modi presses for simultaneous polls

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has yet again pressed for simultaneous polls. Addressing experts from different sectors at Niti Aayog late Wednesday evening, the Prime Minister asked experts to build pressure for holding simultaneous elections for Parliament and state assemblies.

The meeting was attended by Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Radha Mohan Singh, Suresh Prabhu, along with economists and experts from different fields. According to executive head (project), Ram-bhau Mhalgi Prabodhani, Ravi Pokharna, who attended the meet, Prime Minister Modi in his 35 minutes speech talked about benefits of holding simultaneous elections for Parliament and all state assemblies for around 20 minutes. “The PM talked in length about difficulties faced due to imposition of ‘Model Code of Conduct’ for three elections — local bodies, state Assembly and Parliament,” said Mr Pokharna.

Citing difficulties in running state administration due to Assembly polls in different parts of country, Mr Modi shared his experience as chief minister and told the audience that he observed about 80 top officer from Gujarat were out of state on duties for 80 to 90 days due to Assembly polls in other parts of the states, adversely affecting functioning of administration.

In the meet, Mr Modi appealed to experts to build pressure upon all political groups for this reform for betterment of the country.

BJP national vice-president and Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabu-ddhe told this newspaper that a majority of political parties agreed to the concept, but had some doubts. Also, its implementation requires constitutional amendments which can be done if consensus is made. “Similar model is already in practice in different countries and after discussions, it can also be implemented in India,” Dr Sahasrabuddhe said.

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