Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat emphatically rules of possibility of simultaneous polls

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In a visible setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s election commission on Thursday rejected the idea of holding Lok Sabha and assembly polls together.

OP Rawat

Emphatically ruling out the possibility of holding simultaneous elections to the state assemblies with the Lok Sabha polls, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said it was not possible without a ‘legal framework.’

Koi chance nahi (no chance at all)”, PTI quoted Rawat as saying adding that the CEC made the comments while speaking to select group of journalists in Aurangabad.

The Lok Sabha elections are due in April-May next year while Assembly polls to Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram are scheduled to be held later this year. Prime Minister Modi has been a votary of holding both the elections together citing resources and governance.

He has, however, not found much support from many opposition parties, who have rubbished the proposal. Among those opposing the idea are the Congress, Trinamool Congress, AAP, DMK, Telugu Desam Party, Left parties and the JD(S).

The Congress on Tuesday last week had taunted the BJP to dissolve the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections advanced in some other states if simultaneous polls are to be held.

“Simultaneous elections are not possible without amendment in the Constitution. There is only one way to have the elections together and that is Modiji should dissolve Lok Sabha to advance general elections. We would welcome it,” senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot was quoted by IANS.

His comments come against the backdrop of reports that the government was considering holding Lok Sabha polls early next year along with Assembly elections in 11 states by advancing polls in some states and deferring in some.

“If they bring it in advance by dissolving the Lok Sabha, we are prepared to fight both Lok Sabha and assembly elections at a time,” Gehlot had added.

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