Prez parries questions on early LS polls

Tirumala (AP): President Pranab Mukherjee today parried questions on the possibility of early Lok Sabha polls saying it depends on how the parties and leaders behave, a statement that comes against the backdrop of the wash out of the monsoon session of Parliament.

He urged political parties to work out a mechanism to resolve differences to ensure that the House can function.

“This is a question of how leaders will behave, members will behave and parties will behave,” he told reporters when asked about the possibility of earlier elections in the wake of the wash out of the monsoon session.

He was also asked whether he would consider such a possibility if one more session of Parliament is washed out.

The monsoon session of Parliament was washed out due to repeated disruptions by the BJP over its demands for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the wake of the coal scam.

Asked about the recent wasted session, Mukherjee said, leaders of different political parties should work out a mechanism to resolve differences and ensure that institutions of Parliament can work.

He recalled that on an earlier occasion also in 2009, the whole session was disrupted (on demands for a JPC) and the entire winter session business could not be transacted.

Asked about BJP leader L K Advani’s suggestions, for holding of simultaneous polls to Parliament and Assemblies, Mukherjee said it is for political parties to consider it because different parties were running governments in different states.

“How elections will take place…a lot of it depends on various factors. In the constitution, whenever there is a collapse of a state government, elections will have to be held within six months or if there is President’s rule it cannot go on beyond one year. So how to go about such a possibility is in the constitution”.

He said if there is to be a change in the method of election there has to be a constitutional amendment and that is not possible by one party.

Whether political parties would like to have simultaneous elections is something the parties will have to agree. Unless that is decided, how can it be done.

When a reporter suggested that his speech yesterday at the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry looked Prime Ministerial, he said, “I cannot compare or evaluate my speech”.