New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of one nation one election. She said that time and again the election code of conduct hampers development. Speaking at the conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mahajan said, “India had earlier followed the system of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas. We need to ponder over the issue. In the midst of elections one after another in the country, the election code of conduct normally hampers the development process and the schemes get stuck,” she said, adding “in the process, much money is also spent”. Also Read - 'Great Learning Experience,' Says US President Trump as he Concludes His Two-Day India Tour
“The idea of ‘one nation, one election’ would undoubtedly save money and time, but the constitutional hurdles in its way need to be addressed first,” she further said. Also Read - Remembering Pulwama: PM Modi, Amit Shah Pay Homage to CRPF Martyrs, Say 'Forever Grateful of Our Bravehearts'
Recently, Law Commission had said that over Rs 4,500 crore will be needed to buy new EVMS and paper trail machines for “imminent” simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies. The commission, in its draft report on simultaneous polls issued last week, quoted the Election Commission saying that around 10,60,000 polling stations will be set up for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Also Read - Ayodhya Announcement: Opposition Questions Timing, No Violation of MCC, Says Election Commission
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat had said that ‘one nation one poll’ idea was not implementable until changes are made in the Constitution and law. Earlier in August, he had rejected the idea of simultaneous polls claiming that the number of VVPAT machines are not enough to carry out the exercise.
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.
However, with the opposition parties including the Congress opposing the idea of simultaneous elections, the government is not in a position to affect the constitutional amendment that the exercise of holding the assembly and Lok Sabha polls simultaneously would require.
(With agency inputs)