PM Narendra Modi will be holding an all party meet with the key opposition parties of the country on Wednesday to discuss the idea of holding simultaneous elections. The Opposition, which is undecided on the topic of simultaneous elections, will be meeting in the morning before the allparty gathering in the evening.
The ‘One Nation, One Poll’, which was part of BJP’s 2019 manifesto, has made the Opposition weary about the prospects.
According to reports, sources have said that the Opposition is sceptical about the idea and are looking at the all party meet as a “trap” set by the BJP. The band of opposition parties will be meeting around 10 am on Wednesday to hold discussions before going for the Modi meet.
PM Modi has invited the heads of all the political parties that have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue.
Leaders of UPA parties, who met in Parliament on Tuesday evening, discussed the issue of simultaneous elections. They would hold further discussions with other like-minded parties before taking a final call on the matter.
Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were also present at the meeting on Tuesday. Rahul Gandhi will again be meeting Congress leaders on Wednesday. However, Sonia Gandhi maintained suspense over Rahul taking part in the all party meeting.
Rahul Gandhi too avoided questions on the issue at the Parliament on Tuesday.
On the other hand, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who is the chief of Trinamool Congress, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao who heads the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and DMK chief MK Stalin will be skipping the Modi all-party meet in the Capital on Thursday evening.
While most opposition parties are undecided on what stand to take on simultaneous elections, Mamata Banerjee wrote to the Centre and advised that a white paper be prepared on it instead of making a hurried decision.
In August last year, the Law Commission had recommended holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies to save public money.
The Commission, in draft recommendations, said simultaneous polls would help the government of the day focus on “developmental activities rather than electioneering”.
The draft, submitted to the Law Ministry, had recommended “holding of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies.”
It, however, cautioned that “holding simultaneous elections is not possible within the existing framework of the Constitution”.
NITI Aayog had last year suggested synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and Assembly polls from 2024 to ensure minimum campaign-mode disruption to governance.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, this found a mention in the BJP Sankalp Patra as a mode of “good governance”.