PM Modi to meet party chiefs to deliberate on joint polls
On June 20, all MPs of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will exchange views with the government at a dinner meeting, the Union minister said.Updated: Jun 16, 2019 23:40 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday invited the heads of all parties to a meeting on June 19 to discuss the idea of “one nation, one election”, an issue that has lacked political consensus in the past and prompted consultations among experts.
After an all-party meeting ahead of Parliament’s Budget session, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said that in order to build “esprit de corps”, the Prime Minister invited the presidents of all those parties who have an MP either in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha for the meeting.
The meeting has been called to discuss the “one nation, one election” issue, celebrations of 75 years of India’s Independence in 2022 and 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary this year, Joshi told reporters.
On June 20, all MPs of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will exchange views with the government at a dinner meeting, the Union minister said.
Political parties have remained divided on the issue of simultaneous elections in states and for the Lok Sabha, with the Election Commission of India saying that it is not possible without a legal framework, as any extension or curtailment of the term of assemblies will require a constitutional amendment.
The poll watchdog said last year that all political parties needed to be brought on board before such an exercise can be carried out.
At a consultation on the matter last year, several members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supported the idea.
In January 2018, Prime Minister Modi said that all political parties should come together to support the idea as a lot of financial and human resources are used for frequent elections.
The Congress, however, has maintained that it is opposed to the idea of holding simultaneous elections as it is against the basic structure of Indian federalism.