New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be holding an all-party meeting on Wednesday to discuss ‘one nation, one election’. Notably, the Prime Minister had invited the heads of all the political parties that have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue.
Beside simultaneous polls, the agenda for the meeting also include 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 June 20.
Reports claimed that Opposition parties, including the Congress will take a call on Wednesday morning on whether to attend the meeting or not. Leaders of UPA constituents, who met in Parliament on Tuesday evening, discussed the issue and decided that they would hold further discussions with other like-minded parties before taking a final call on the matter.
On being asked if Congress president Rahul Gandhi will attend Wednesday’s meeting, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said “you will know tomorrow”.
(Mamata to Skip PM Modi’s All-Party Meet, Asks Centre to Prepare White Paper on ‘One Nation, One Election’)
On the other hand, Mamata Banerjee of TMC, MK Stalin of DMK and K Chandrasekhar Rao of TRS have already announced their decision of not attending the meeting.
In a letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, who formally invited Mamata to the meeting, the TMC supremo stated that response on sensitive topics like ‘One Nation One Election’ in such a short time won’t do justice to it.
Banerjee demanded a white paper be circulated among all political parties seeking their views on the simultaneous polls by proving them ‘adequate time’.
“A proper response on such a sensitive and serious subject like “one country, one election” in such a short time would not do justice to the subject. The matter requires consultations with constitutional experts, election experts and above all, the party members. Instead of doing the matter hurriedly, I would request you to kindly circulate a white paper on the subject to all political parties, inviting their views by providing adequate time. If you only do so, we will be able to give concrete suggestions on this important subject,” Banerjee wrote in the letter.
Reports suggest that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will also skip the all-party meet owing to prior engagements. Thackeray is scheduled to meet several Sena leaders throughout the day, as the party will be celebrating its 53rd Foundation Day on Wednesday.