BJD to attend meet on simultaneous polls

The Law Commission has invited all the national and recognised State political parties to hold consultations on July 7 and 8 on the feasibility of conducting simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and State

Published: 07th July 2018 03:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2018 03:12 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Law Commission has invited all the national and recognised State political parties to hold consultations on July 7 and 8 on the feasibility of conducting simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and State assemblies.

Sources said BJD MP Pinaki Mishra will represent BJD in the meeting. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had extended support to the call for simultaneous elections given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We have been elected to do people’s work. Having elections throughout the year disturbs the work of people. Therefore, we support the appeal by the Prime Minister for simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and State assemblies,” he had said.

The Commission has prepared a draft paper on “Simultaneous Elections – Constitutional and Legal Perspectives” and has sought opinions of ‘all stakeholders’ including political parties, constitutional experts, bureaucrats, academia etc on the paper before finalising its report and sending it to the Government.

However, the issue of simultaneous polls has not elicited any response from opposition political parties, including the Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India and Nationalist Congress Party.

The paper has recommended holding the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously in two phases beginning 2019. The State assemblies, whose terms are ending prior or later than 2019, are to be included in the first phase. The second phase can happen along with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, it said.

In his valedictory address during the Law Day Celebration, 2017 organised by the Commission in association with the NITI Aayog on November 17-18, last year, the Prime Minister had given a call to start a constructive discussion on the subject.

The Commission in its meeting held on April 17, this year decided to make a public appeal along with a summary of the work done so far and placed it in public domain to elicit the view of the stakeholders.

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