Union Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that most parties attending the meeting supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of ‘One Nation, One Election.’ This was after PM Modi chaired a meeting of all political parties to discuss if parliamentary and assembly polls could be held simultaneously.
Addressing reporters after the meeting, Singh said that PM Modi will soon set up a committee to invite suggestions on the topic. “One Nation, One Election is not a government agenda, it is the country’s agenda. All parties will be involved. we will respect all differences of opinion,” Singh was quoted by NDTV.
Those attending the meeting included Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar, Jagan Mohan Reddy and Naveen Patnaik. Also attending were National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP’s Sharad Pawar and LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan.
Five key political parties including the Congress decided to boycott the meeting. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday asking the government to first issue a White Paper so the parties could consult experts and give feedback.
BSP Chief Mayawati too ridiculed the idea of simultaneously holding Lok Sabha and assembly polls together. Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent a representative to today’s meeting. Also sending representatives were former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandresekhar Rao.
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha also wrote to Joshi warning that simultaneous elections had an anti-democratic tint and premature dissolution of any government would lead to political turmoil. He wrote, “Will the people of the State have to wait till the Lok Sabha elections to get another democratically elected State assembly? What if that waiting period is one or two years more; is the State expected to be beholden to the Union government for elections to its State?”
— AAP In News (@AAPInNews) June 19, 2019
The CPI(M) too said that the ‘One Nation, One Election’ concept was anti-federal and anti-democratic.