‘Simultaneous polls’ CM Naveen’s brainchild, claims BJD

Bhubaneswar: Claiming simultaneous polls as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s brainchild, ruling-BJD MP Pinaki Mishra today said he would present the party’s view point on the matter before the Law Commission on July 10.

The party president and Chief Minister first presented the idea in 2004 and implemented the same. The party fully supports simultaneous elections, Mishra said.

Mishra told media persons, “We have been called by the Law Commission for a meeting at 3 PM on Tuesday. I will present a written representation on the party’s view point. The idea was initially mooted by Naveen Patnaik. He took a bold step by implementing the same in 2004. The Chief Minister is the originator of the idea and therefore the party whole heartedly supports the idea.”

Earlier, Patnaik had extended support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for simultaneous elections. In Odisha, the Assembly polls have been organised simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections since 2004.

The Law Commission had invited all national and state level political parties to hold consultations on July 7-8 on the practicality of conducting simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state legislatures.

The Commission has prepared a draft paper on “Simultaneous Elections – Constitutional and Legal Perspectives” and has sought opinions of “all stakeholders” including political parties, constitutional experts, bureaucrats, academia etc on the paper before finalising its report and sending it to the government.

National parties such as the Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Trinamool Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India, and the Nationalist Congress Party are currently against the idea of simultaneous elections

These parties have dismissed the idea as an alleged ploy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to divert attention from other, more important issues.

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