New Delhi, Jan 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reiterated the idea of simultaneous national and state elections in an exclusive interview with Zee News. PM Modi said that by holding Lok Sabha and state elections at one go and those of other local elections within a few months will save a lot of energy and other resources of the nation. Also Read - Bihar Panchayat Polls Postponed Amid Soaring COVID Cases In State
In support of his idea, PM Modi referred to his discussion with former president Pranab Mukherjee who concurred with his views on holding simultaneous elections. (Also Read: PM Modi to Zee News: On World Forums, Modi no One But Representative of Over 1.25 Billion Indians) Also Read - Ahead of Upcoming Assembly Elections, EC Bans Bike Rallies 72 hours Before Voting Day in all Poll-Bound Constituencies
According to the Prime Minister, it was not an impossible task to hold all elections simultaneously and it should be tried in the best interest of the people as a curb on wastage of resources will benefit India. Click here to read highlights of Modi’s interview with Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Assembly Election: AMMK Releases Second List of 50 Candidates, Dhinakaran To contest from Kovilpatti
The idea of holding Lok Sabha and state elections has been dominating the debate after the BJP-led NDA came at the Centre in May 2014 and won several states thereafter. The BJP rules 19 of the 29 states of India.
The 2014 Lok Sabha elections were the longest ever in India’s history. The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the elections dates on March 5, 2014, and voting took place in nine phases from April 7 to May 12. Counting of votes and declaration of results were on May 12, 2014. Several state elections are also spread over a month.
The 16th Lok Sabha elections were also the most expensive ever costing Rs. 3,426 crore to the national exchequer. The expense incurred in conducting the 2009 Lok Sabha elections was Rs 1,483 crore.
PM Narendra Modi also spoke about India’s participation at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland. “The WEF is a panchayat for economic deliberations and India is the main attraction. People would like to hear from the head of the government. So I have decided to represent the country at the forum,” PM Modi said.