PM Modi to set up panel to look into issue of simultaneous polls: Rajnath

PM Modi and rajnath Singh

NEW DELHI, JUNE 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will set up a committee for giving "time-bound" suggestions on the issue of 'one nation, one election', defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.

Addressing media after the all-party meeting on the issue, Rajnath Singh said most parties supported the idea of holding simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

He said though parties such as the CPI and the CPM had "difference of opinion" on how the exercise of joint elections will be held, they were "not opposed (to the idea)".

Asked about the composition of the proposed committee, Singh said the Prime Minister will take a call.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has extended full support to the idea, saying frequent polls affect the pace of development and also "rock the spirit of cooperative federalism".

The "one nation, one election" proposal is fundamentally anti-federal and a "backdoor way of replacing our parliamentary democracy", CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Wednesday after the meeting. 

While the Congress stayed away from the meeting, its leader Milind Deora appeared to be supporting the idea of holding simultaneous polls in the country and called for a debate on the issue.

He said being in continuous election mode is a roadblock to good governance and distracts politicians from addressing real issues.

Terming 'one nation, one election' an "important and valuable reform", he said the government should decide on it by taking all political parties on board and seeking opinions of the intelligentsia, organisations working on electoral reforms and students. 

PTI

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