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Akhilesh welcomes one-nation-one-poll idea but wants UP assembly polls in 2019

Akhilesh Yadav says the decision to club assembly and parliamentary polls would have far-reaching ramifications for regional parties, which, unlike the BJP, did not possess requisite wherewithal and resources

lucknow Updated: Jun 06, 2018 23:45 IST
M Tariq Khan
M Tariq Khan
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Samajwadi Party,Akhilesh Yadav,UP assembly polls
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav with RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary in Lucknow on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has welcomed the proposal drafted by the Yogi Adityanath government for holding parliamentary and assembly elections simultaneously, albeit with a rider that UP assembly elections should also be held along with Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

“The SP is battle-ready for ‘one nation one poll’ electoral system. In fact, I have already hit the road with my cycle in Lucknow (referring to his morning bike rides). It would have been better if the BJP government had also consulted us and other opposition parties on the proposal,” quipped the former CM adding, “But then in drafting the proposal, the BJP government in UP has extended its own tenure.”

On Tuesday, UP cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh had submitted a report to Adityanath, suggesting implementation of simultaneous polls in the country in two phases.

The proposal suggests that states where assembly elections are due on or before December 31, 2021 may be clubbed with 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and others where assembly elections are due after 2021 may go to polls with 2024 general elections.

The proposal, if accepted, stands to benefit states like UP, Gujarat, Punjab and Karnataka, whose tenure would get extended by one to two years. On the other hand, assembly elections in nine states, including West Bengal, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, and Tamil Nadu would be advanced.

Yadav, who was speaking at a press conference, said the decision to club assembly and parliamentary polls would have far-reaching ramifications for regional parties, which, unlike the BJP, did not possess requisite wherewithal and resources.

Akhilesh said those batting for the one-nation-one-poll idea should also ensure only one voters’ list across the country by linking voters ID with Aadhar card. “When you have made Aadhar mandatory and linked with almost all public services and documents, why not also link it with the electoral roll,” he said.

“We constituted a team under the health ministry in UP in this regard and asked them to see if it’s possible to hold only one election and link voters’ list to Aadhar so that new voters automatically get added to the list when they turn 18,” he pointed out.

Newly elected Rashtriye Lok Dal (RLD) MP from Kairana Tabassum Hasan and SP’s Naim ul-Hasan, who won the Noorpur assembly seat in the by-polls recently, were also present on the occasion.

“The recent electoral victories by united opposition in Gorakhpur, Phoolpur, Kairana and Noorpur, is a precursor of the growing disenchantment of the people with the BJP,” said Akhilesh, who facilitated both the winners.

“I am glad those who always talked about a lack of narrative in the unity among opposition parties, no longer used this term,” he said adding that elections would be fought on issues like demonetization, GST, jobs-creation and farmers welfare.

On scrapping of Purvanchal E-way bids

Akhilesh said his government had built the Agra-Lucknow Expressway in record 19 months but the BJP government was not even able to finalise the tender documents of the Purvanchal Expressway after more than a year.

“I had laid the foundation stone of the Purvanchal E-way and much of the land acquisition for it was done in our regime. I once mentioned in the media that the same companies which had built the Agra-Lucknow Expressway would now also develop the Purvanchal Expressway. Perhaps, it could be one of the reasons for cancelling the bids,” the former chief minister said.

The e-way was not alone, Yogi Government, he said, was yet to deliver on the promises to the people, be it free laptops and data to students or clearing payment of farmers or jobs to youths.

On BJP MLA Rajbhar’s remark on Yogi

“Why is he telling this to you and me? He should say all this in the party’s meetings,” the SP chief said when asked to comment on UP Minister OP Rajbhar’s remarks that mandate in UP was for Keshav Prasad Maurya as CM candidate instead of Yogi Adityanath.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 23:45 IST