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Modi pitches simultaneous LS and state elections again, urges for public debate

india Updated: Nov 03, 2016 21:15 IST
HT Correspondent
Lok Sabha elections

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP president Amit Shah at the Diwali Mangal Milan in New Delhi on November 3, 2016.(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday once again pitched for simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, urging media to encourage debate on the matter. The PM had first pitched the idea during an all-party meet this March.

“If it’s not suitable, reject it. But at least discuss it,” Modi said while speaking at the annual Diwali Milan function organized by the BJP.

Read | Shah writes to House panel backing simultaneous LS, assembly polls

The PM said leaders of other political parties supported the idea in private talks, but were hesitant to discuss it in public.

“There will be hesitation for some time. But, despite such dilemma, the public discourse should continue.”

A decision in this regard cannot be imposed by the government, he insisted, and so it was necessary to give impetus to discussion.

To support his argument, he pointed out that frequent elections not only lead to unnecessary expenditure, but also engaged officials in electoral procedure for months, hampering administrative work.

Read | One India, One election an interesting concept but its benefits not clear yet

Perhaps to elaborate how media could be effective, Modi complimented it for its role in propagating the message on cleanliness. “The success of Swachhata Mission can be attributed to the role of the media,” he said.

Other issue were touched upon at the event, including the surgical strikes. Referring to the army action, BJP president Amit Shah, who was also present, said it lent this Diwali a different kind of environment.

“(The) Entire country experienced the valour of the army, passion for sacrifice and pride. It also expressed gratitude towards those who attained martyrdom,” Shah said. Modi, he said, had spent the festival with jawans at the borders and conveyed India’s sentiment to them.

Also read | Simultaneous General and Assembly elections is not a workable idea