NEW DELHI: Rubbishing the plank forwarded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that simultaneous elections would save the exchequer hundreds of crores, the Congress on Tuesday pointed out that the cost of all elections in the country was still less than the cost incurred by Modi on "self promotion".
"Prime Minister Modi gives us this argumnet that hundreds of crores would be saved if elections are held together. A Parliament Standing Committee estimates the entire cost of Lok Sabha and all assembly elections at Rs 4,500 crore.
"We would like to advise him to first stop spending Rs 4,600 crore of public money on self promotion and propaganda," said Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
An RTI query by a Mumbai activist revealed in May this year that the Modi government had spent Rs 4,343 crore on publicity since it came to power in May 2014.
The money was spent on advertisements in the print and electronic media as well as outdoor publicity.
An earlier RTI reply revealed the government had spent Rs 3,755 crore on publicity till October last year.
Rejecting the proposal of simultaneous polls, Singhvi said that it was yet another "preposterous suggestion by a narcissist and self-centred" Modi government.
"The concept of federalism engarined into our Constitution and multi-party parliamentary system would also be endangered if simultaneous elections take place. Large parties with a larger footprint will have more advantages in campaign, spending and publicity and the voices of regional parties would be submerged in the din," he said.
He added that the proposal hits out at the "very core of democracy in India".