Election Commission is prepared to simultaneously hold general and state assembly polls provided there is a consensus among all political parties and constitutional amendments to this effect, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi has said.
“As a commission, this is our recommendation to the Law Ministry that elections in the country can be held together for both state assemblies as well as Lok Sabha,” Zaidi told the news agency in Melbourne.
The idea of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies was opined by the ruling BJP as well fairly recently. It was reported that even PM Modi was keen on simultaneous elections once in five years.
Participating in International Election Visitors programme in Melbourne, Australia, Nasim Zaidi told that the central poll panel had “made a similar recommendation to parliamentary committee which examines this issue”.
The parliamentary committee had, however, suggested that the issue requires lot of debate across all political parties as the Constitution has to be amended as several states would have to be brought forward while some have to be moved backwards, Zaidi told the press.
“To conduct these elections simultaneously we would need certain logistic arrangements in terms of procurement of more electronic machines, hiring of temporary workers, and staggering the election dates,” he said.
The International Election Visitors programme was held in Melbourne to expose the 19 visiting commissioners from the globe to the Australian electoral system.
The commissioners were given familiarisation programme to understand the election processes and to internationalise the partnership among them.
The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) also said the poll panel was encouraging the NRI voters to register themselves online to be a part of the elections back home.
Along with Indian embassies, CEC is proactively engaging with Indian citizens living abroad to register them online as the number of NRIs registered so far to vote have been less than 30,000, Zaidi said.
(With inputs from the PTI)