Former Vice President Hamid Ansari on Thursday opposed the idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections put forth by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an interview to News 18, Ansari termed the ‘one nation, one election’ theory as an ‘unworkable idea’ and an “assault on India’s democracy”.
“India is a diverse land. To have the thought of one big country our size having one election is just an unworkable idea. You require security to move in multiple phases even during an Assembly election. So how are you going to provide security across the nation if polls were to be held simultaneously,” the former Vice President was quoted by the news channel as saying.
Ansari’s remarks came amid the Law Commission preparing a report on simultaneous elections after holding discussions with several political parties.
Ansari’s disagreement with PM Modi’s proposal of simultaneous elections comes days after he said that the latter’s comment during his farewell as the outgoing Rajya Sabha Chairman was ‘a departure from accepted practice on such occasions’. In his farewell speech on August 10 last year, Modi had said in last 10 years “you had to confine yourself strictly to the Constitution. You may have been internally agitated by this, but from today, you will have the freedom to speak your mind and to think, speak and act according to your core set of beliefs.”
Meanwhile, in an interview to news agency ANI, Ansari said that he shared warm and cordial relations with Narendra Modi when he took over as the Prime Minister in 2014, adding that there was no conflict between them.
“I have been the vice president for 10 years. There were two governments. I shared good relations with both the governments, including Prime Minister Modi. When he was the Gujarat Chief Minister and took over as Prime Minister in 2014, relations didn’t change at all. There is no conflict between us,” he said.
Talking about PM Modi’s farewell speech at the Parliament last year before he demitted office, Ansari said the former was gracious enough to attend that session and spoke extremely good things on him.
“Farewell speeches are a traditional part in the Parliament. It is always held when any member or speaker is leaving. That day, the farewell speeches were held in the morning session. Prime Minister Modi spoke in his own way and appreciated me. He spoke on good things,” he added.