File photo of President Pranab Mukherjee.(PTI photo)
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday came out in support of simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
“There are talks of simultaneous elections in the political circles. It could be possible if the political parties seriously arrive at a
consensus. It may be possible because it can remove a lot of inconvenience in terms of management,” Mukherjee said.
He added that the Election Commission should take the initiative.
The BJP led NDA government at the Centre had already set the ball rolling on the ‘one nation, one election’ slogan as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was slated to call an all-party meeting in the run-up to the upcoming budget session of the Parliament on the subject of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and Assembles in 2024.
Addressing a seminar on “Strategies for Empowering Young and Future Voters” organized by the Election Commission of India on the eve of 7th National Voters Day on Tuesday, CEC Nasim Zaidi said that such an election would require constitutional amendments and political consensus.
“The Commission, with certain additional resources, can undertake the exercise of simultaneous elections in future. But there are two pre-conditions. One, there should be an amendment in the Constitution through a process of political consensus and we will need some additional resources in terms of electronic voting machines, etc,” Zaidi said.
The Law Ministry had previously asked the Election Commission to submit its views on the report of a parliamentary standing committee which had supported the idea of holding simultaneous polls.
In its reply, the ministry had submitted that although such a proposal was possible but the cost s involved would be over Rs 9000 crore.