New Delhi: The Modi government-led meeting of the heads of political parties to discuss the proposal of ‘One Nation One Election’, among other issues was held today in the Parliament even as several party patriarchs refused to mark their attendance on Wednesday.

Out of those who opted to sit out this ‘crucial meet’ were Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M K Stalin, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and her former ally Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav among others. Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal too did not attend the meeting but the party sent Raghav Chaddha as its representative.

On the other hand, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD Chief Naveen Patnaik today avowed, “Our party is supporting the idea of One Nation, One Election.”

Attacking the moot point of the meet today, BSP chief Mayawati said that holding simultaneous national and state elections “appears to be an undemocratic and unconstitutional” idea for a vast country like India. She added that elections in any democracy can never be a problem “nor elections should be weighed from the point of view of expenditure and extravagance”.

‘One nation, one election’ is not an issue before the country, she said. Elections through ballot papers are actually the national issue and our party will continue its struggle for it,” Mayawati declared.

On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also declined the invitation to attend and asked the Centre to instead prepare a white paper on the “one nation, one election” issue for consultations.

Sources said that Opposition parties are wary of the meeting convened by the prime minister as they feel this might be a “trap” set by the BJP and needs proper discussion before going ahead.
The agenda for the meeting also includes celebration of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year. It will be followed by a dinner meeting with all the MPs on Thursday.

Meanwhile, JD(U)’s chief Nitish Kumar, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, BJD’s Naveen Patnaik, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti and YSRCP’s Jaganmohan Reddy are among those who attended the meeting.

With inputs from agencies