Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani on Sunday said the union government and the election commission should work in the direction of conducting simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and all state assemblies. He was addressing an election rally at Amb in Chintpurni constituency in support of the party candidates contesting election on five seats in Una district.
Advani said simultaneous elections would speed up the development process as there would be no hindrance for five years. The BJP leader said he had discussed the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the presence of Pranab Mukherjee when the latter was cabinet minister. However, there had been no reciprocation from their end, he said.
Advani said the election commission should also look into the possibility of organising public debates by prime ministerial and chief ministerial candidates so that they can discuss public issues and people can understand the achievements of the rival parties and vote for the better candidate or party. In a lighter vein, he remarked that for the Himachal Pradesh elections the BJP's candidate to lead the debate would be Prem Kumar Dhumal, but it would be for the Congress to decide whether they had confidence in Virbhadra Singh or for some reasons decide to assign the job to Vidya Stokes.
The senior BJP leader said elections should not merely be held to decide the winners or losers, but the process should be conducted for the betterment of democracy and the democratic set-up in the country.
Taking on the UPA government, Advani said the special industrial package given to the hill state by the NDA government was curtailed by six years by the UPA, while the same package continued in states ruled by the Congress.
He added that had the industrial package been continued, it would have immensely benefitted the state, which had meagre resources and would also have provided jobs to 2.75 lakh youth. He alleged that the UPA government had meted out step-motherly treatment to Himachal Pradesh since it was a BJP government here.
Advani charged that during the past eight years of the UPA rule, Pakistan-sponsored terrorism had increased and the government had failed to check it. He said during the NDA regime, development and security got equal importance. The BJP had worked systematically for the development of the country, be it road, rail, health, education or social sectors, Adavni said.
He added that Punjab saw a repeat of the SAD-BJP government and the same will happen in Himachal and Gujarat. These two elections are crucial and will pave the way for the exit of the UPA from the Centre, he said, adding that "the UPA rout is scheduled in 2014, but could be even earlier than that".
State BJP president Satpal Singh Satti, BJP candidate from Gagret Sushil Kalia and Chintpurni contestant Balbir Chaudhary were also present besides state party co-incharge Shyam Jhaju.
Advani plays mandir card
Giving a momentum to the BJP's election campaign in Una district, senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani reiterated the party's resolve to construct a temple at Lord Ram's birthplace in Ayodhya, drawing cheers from the crowd that had gathered at the Ramlila grounds to hear him speak.
Advani, who spearheaded the party campaign for the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site, did not fail to mention it in his election speech. He announced that the party would help construct an elaborate and beautiful temple at Ayodhya after the Supreme Court gives its final verdict.
The BJP leader said the decision of the Allahabad high court was in their favour and the matter was pending in the apex court. He expressed hope that the final verdict would pave the way for the construction of the temple.
'I have least concern for cabinet expansion'
Former deputy prime minister LK Advani, during his speech at Amb, remarked that he had little interest in the cabinet expansion in the UPA government. "I am least concerned and so are the people of the country," he said, adding that, "The ministers in the UPA government have only given corruption and inflation to the people of the country."