NEW DELHI: With an aim to reaching a consensus on holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and Assemblies in 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to call an all-party meeting in the run-up to the upcoming Budget session of Parliament.
The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre appears to have set the ball rolling on the “one nation, one election” slogan, with a top BJP source saying political consensus was necessary as the move would entail constitutional amendment.
The government is also keen to push amendments in the rules to effect changes in election funding.
“The issue of one nation, one election will take a lot of time for building the ground as there will be a need to amendment the Constitution to prolong and shorten tenures of a few state Assemblies to allow the holding of simultaneous elections. The government is eyeing a 2024 rollout of simultaneous elections. The prime minister is keen to listen to the views of the leaders of all political parties on the issue and discuss with them a road map to achieve the target,” added the BJP leader.
The prime minister had mentioned the simultaneous elections demand on a couple of occasions. While addressing the Diwali Milan last year at the BJP headquarter, Modi stated that even while the political leaders favour the idea in private conversations, they develop cold feet when asked to state their positions publicly. Modi had reasoned at that time that every year there are elections in parts of the country, which present logistic and security challenges, besides forcing a pause on governance.
“The Election Commission of India has also in the recent times strongly argued for a few reforms in the funding of the elections, which necessitate discussions with the broader spectrum of political parties. The prime minister will like the all-party meeting to take up the issue and initiate a larger discussion on changes in the rules for election funding,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Tuesday convened a meeting of chief electoral officers and nodal officers of poll-bound states to review the final leg of preparedness before announcing the schedule of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.