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“No Chance At All,” Says Chief Election Commissioner On Simultaneous Polls

New Delhi: 

The Election Commission has ruled out the possibility of holding simultaneous elections to the state assemblies along with the Lok Sabha polls.

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat today said that there is no chance at all of holding simultaneous elections without a “legal framework” in place. “Koi chance nahi,” Mr Rawat was quoted by news agency PTI as saying when asked about simultaneous polls.

Earlier this month, BJP chief Amit Shah wrote to the Law Commission expressing support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “One nation one election” idea. In his eight-page letter, the BJP chief said the opposition to simultaneous elections seems to be politically motivated.

While, the Lok Sabha elections are due in April-May next year, assembly polls to Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram are scheduled to be held later this year.

The government contends that holding polls at the national and state levels will cut down on the cost of elections in terms of both time and money. A paper by the Law Commission recently recommended holding the Lok Sabha and assembly polls in two phases beginning 2019.

Most opposition parties have scoffed at the idea despite the government’s many attempts to bring them on board. The Congress, Trinamool Congress, AAP, DMK, Telugu Desam Party, Left parties and the JD(S) have consistently opposed the proposal, questioning its feasibility and arguing that it would be against federal principles.

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