OTV EXCLUSIVE: Fully prepared for simultaneous polls: ECI senior advisor

Bhubaneswar: Stating that the decision on simultaneous polls lies with the Central government, senior advisor to the Election Commission of India (ECI) Bhagban Prakash stated that the commission is always ready for elections.

During the ‘Khola Katha’ programme on OTV, Prakash said, “In my opinion simultaneous polls are beneficial for the country. As per the Constitution, polls should be held in every five years. But the chain was broken due to political instability in the country. If the government decides for simultaneous polls, the ECI is ready for that.”

“The ECI has not proposed anything. This was proposed by the leader of the ruling party as well as NITI Aayog and some other organisations. Definitely there will be supporters and opponents,” he added.

Speaking on the recent controversy surrounding EVMs, Prakash said “EVM is an alternative, simple and improvable calculator. As it is a machine, there might be some mechanical failures which cannot be termed as manipulation. Those who lose elections mostly blame the EVMs. They never accept their failure to convince voters, instead they blame EVMs.”

On a query on ‘note-for-vote’ issue, Prakash said, “Those who give cash for vote are actually bribing which is a non-bailable offence. The ECI has repeatedly written to the government about the issue. Through feedback system the ECI came to know that massive bribery activities go on during polls. Therefore, the ECI should be given power to countermand the polls. As at present it does not have that power, a proposal has been given to the government on the same.”