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Simultaneous polls to Centre, States is mother of all reforms: ICCR chief

| | Updated on: Jan 17, 2018
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Sangh-backed seminar to deliberate on the issue next week

Senior BJP leader and Chairman of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Vinay Sahasrabudhe, on Wednesday asserted that simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies would be the “mother of all reforms” and showcase India as a mature democracy.

Sahasrabudhe, who is a Rajya Sabha MP and RSS ideologue, is also a participant at ‘One Nation One Election’, a convention to be held on January 20-21 and organised by the Sangh-backed think-tank Rambhau Mhalagi Prabodhini. Besides BJP President Amit Shah, the seminar will be attended by the BJD leader Baijyant Panda and JD(U) MP KC Tyagi.

The inaugural address in this high-profile seminar, aimed at creating public opinion for simultaneous polls, will be delivered by NITI Aayog Chairman Rajiv Kumar. Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap has also been invited to address the closing session.

Amid speculations about the Lok Sabha elections being advanced to be held alongside the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh towards the end of this year, Sahasrabudhe said there was “no need to trivialise” the issue by linking it to advancement of Lok Sabha elections.

“There is no need to speculate whether the issue of ‘one-nation, one-election’ is only being propped up only at the instance of the government. It is not on behalf of the government. But we do think on similar lines. To improve the political health of the country, we need a series of changes. This is one of the major reform strategies,” he said. “At least let there be a debate on the subject.”

Making a strong pitch for simultaneous elections, an idea mooted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and taken forward by a NITI Aayog paper and a report by a parliamentary committee, the BJP leader said even a cursory cost-benefit analysis would underline how much the idea makes sense. “The country will save thousands of crores as holding frequent elections results in huge expenditure,” he said.

Published on January 17, 2018

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