Former Election Commission advisor backs simultaneous polls across nation
This is the time to debate and discuss the positives of simultaneous elections, stressed KJ Rao, former advisor to the Election Commission.
HYDERABAD: This is the time to debate and discuss the positives of simultaneous elections, stressed KJ Rao, former advisor to the Election Commission of India on Saturday.
Speaking at the symposium ‘One Nation, One Election’, conducted by Pragna Bharati, Telangana, a forum at Badruka College of Commerce and Arts, Rao said, “If certain political parties can request the Election Commission to postpone presentation of Budget until Assembly polls in five states are over, then we need to have an alternative. Conducting elections simultaneously is one and the only solution.”
He elaborated on how exhaustive election processes in the country keep the election commission busy for almost nine months of the year, making election reforms difficult.
“When elections take place in so many different phases across the states, there is so much pressure. The expenditure incurred, not just by political parties, but also individuals is tremendous. Then the number of people employed for election duty is also a big number. All of this can be minimised,” he said.
Once the debate about this arises, there will be a number of objections. “But better sense should prevail and political parties should come together to make necessary amendments. There are no minus points and who will bell the cat is the only remaining question,” he added.
Daggubati Purandeswari, former Minister of State (HRD), who was also present at the symposium, talked about the history and evolution of elections in the country. With women and youth becoming an integral part of deciding the future of the country, she stressed that the election processes should be reformed. “This can happen when there is a better election system in place and there needs to space and time created to make necessary amendments.
People raise a hue and cry about the huge amount of money that is spent. Now is the time to raise voices to ensure that money and manpower doesn’t go wasted and vouch for simultaneous elections,” said Purandeswari. VV Lakshminarayana, IPS, talked about how simultaneous elections can enable the police to work better.
“We have so many issues to take care of and there is a lot of pressure at the time of elections - before, during and after. Election season should be scheduled during April and May. Conducting them in two or four phases makes it more systematic. It will also help record real expenses of those contesting elections. A common man can also contest fearlessly. Political consensus is important for this,” he said.