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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Nitish Kumar says summer not appropriate for polls, calls for fewer phases

Temperature in Bihar touched 44 degrees Celsius on Sunday even as many polling booths lacked proper shade creating inconvenience for voters.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 21, 2019 08:42 IST
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Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar has suggested that Lok Sabha elections should be held in two or three phases and preferably in February-March or October-November period.(PTI)

Questioning the long-drawn polling in intense heat conditions, Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar has suggested that Lok Sabha elections should be held in two or three phases and preferably in February-March or October-November period.

“Such a long-drawn election should not be held under an intense heat condition. This is not appropriate time for holding elections. It must be either held in February-March or October-November in two to three phases in our country,” Kumar said in Patna on Sunday.

He also maintained that elections should be held in minimum phases so that voters should not have any problems in casting their votes.

The final round of voting in the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls concluded on Sunday. The state’s eight constituencies that went to polls on Sunday recorded 53.76% turnout against over 60% average polling recorded in six of the eight states where voting was held in the last phase.

Temperature in Bihar touched 44 degrees Celsius on Sunday even as many polling booths lacked proper shade creating inconvenience for voters.

“There should be unanimity among people that there should be constitutional arrangement that whenever there is election, it should be held at aforementioned time (Feb-Mar or Oct-Nov) and should not be held in so many phases,” the CM said.

Ideally, elections should be held in one phase across the country but since the country is so big it should be held in two or three phases keeping in mind the hilly areas of north-east states and Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

“After the elections are over, I, as a president of my party, will write letters to the presidents of all political parties for discussion on the issue despite the fact that we have so many differences.”

Kumar’s view found support from another National Democratic Alliance ally, the Lok Janshakti Party. LJP president and Union minister Ramvilas Paswan felt political parties should take this issue seriously. “Every political party should think seriously on the issue that Lok Sabha/assembly elections should be held in November or February. This helps in campaigning; voter will vote with comfort; voting percentage will increase and this will strengthen the democracy,” Paswan tweeted.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is not averse to the idea. “If it is decided by all parties, we don’t have any objection if polls are held in fewer phases in Bihar,” said Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai.

First Published: May 20, 2019 23:46 IST

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