Lok Sabha and assembly elections cannot be held simultaneously, the Election Commission said on Thursday and ruled out the possibility of holding the elections together, a key plan of the BJP-led NDA which rules the country. Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said that there is no chance at all of holding simultaneous elections without a legal framework in place. Previously in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, BJP president Amit Shah had expressed support for the organising of simultaneous elections in the country.
In his letter, BJP chief Amit Shah expressed support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s One Nation, One Election proposal. He said the opposition to this move was politically motivated. Not only the BJP chief, but Modi himself has openly spoken in favour of conducting Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together on several occasions.
The BJP has been of the opinion that simultaneous elections will help in reducing the cost of elections, time and security deployment. According to reports, the Law Commission in a paper had recommended for holding Lok Sabha and assembly polls in two phases beginning 2019.
While the BJP has pitched the idea of carrying out simultaneous elections on several occasions, the principal opposition party, the Congress, has opposed the proposal. Meanwhile, other parties including Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) has supported the idea but has added that it cannot happen in the existing structure and required proper planning.
The discussion on having simultaneous elections in the country has taken place multiple times but no party has agreed to the BJP’s proposal to hold elections simultaneously. While the NDA looks united in its support to its dominant party’s plan, the other constituents haven’t spelt out their positions clearly.