New Delhi, Aug 14: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Tuesday rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) idea of holding elections in 11 states along with Lok Sabha Elections 2019 claiming that the number of VVPAT machines available are not enough to carry out the exercise. Also Read - Major Setback For Congress in Gujarat as 2 Party MLAs Resign Ahead of Rajya Sabha Polls
“There are not enough VVPAT machines to conduct 11 state elections simultaneously with Lok Sabha polls in 2019. If such a thing is to be attempted, more VVPAT machines will have to be ordered and a decision in this regard will have to be taken in a month or two,” Rawat was quoted as saying in a report. Also Read - Fact Check: Pregnant Elephant Was NOT 'Fed' Cracker-Stuffed 'Pineapple' in Kerala's 'Malappuram', Maneka Gandhi Called Out For Communalising Animal's Death
Earlier on Monday, BJP President Amit Shah wrote a letter to Law Commission Chairman BS Chauhan batting for One Nation One Election system. In his letter, he emphasised that with multiple elections happening throughout the year, the Model Code of Conduct impedes the government’s developmental work. Also Read - 'Nobody Will Use New Name': Twitter Slams Union Minister Prakash Javadekar's 'Historic' Priority to Rename Kolkata Port Amid COVID-19, Economic Crisis
He cited the examples of Indonesia, Sweden, South Africa, Belgium and Italy where simultaneous elections have proved to be successful while further elucidating how One Nation One Election is not a kin to the Indian electoral system.
CEC Om Prakash Rawat, on August 10, had proposed holding one election a year as an alternative and had said that the move would also prevent violations of Model Code of Conduct on social media, as the social media platforms can be ordered to not run any poll-related news 48 hours before the elections.
The Narendra Modi government has been batting for the ‘One Nation, One Poll’ idea ever since it came to power at the Centre in 2014.
Prime Minister Modi, while addressing the governing council of NITI Aayog in June this year, had called for a “widespread” debate on holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.