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Congress Tells Law Panel it 'Vehemently' Opposes Simultaneous Polls

According to sources aware of the deliberations, the Congress delegation led by senior leaders said the party was "vehemently" opposed to simultaneous elections.

PTI

Updated:August 3, 2018, 6:50 PM IST
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Congress Tells Law Panel it 'Vehemently' Opposes Simultaneous Polls
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New Delhi: The Congress on Friday told the Law Commission that it "vehemently" opposes the idea of holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections together, as it is against the basic structure of Indian federalism, sources have said.

A Congress delegation led by senior leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Anand Sharma and J D Selam met the top brass of the law panel to make it aware of the party's stand on simultaneous polls.

The Congress and the BJP had kept away from a consultation organised by the law panel on the issue in July.

According to sources aware of the deliberations, the Congress delegation said the party was "vehemently" opposed to simultaneous elections.

The party said ending or extending terms of assemblies was against the basic structure of Indian federalism.

Last month, Singhvi had said that the proposal was a "constitutional perversity".

He had claimed that the proposal, if accepted, would hit at the very core of democracy in India, and wondered if the country and the states will be under President's rule in the event of governments failing to complete their term.

"The proposal of simultaneous election dressed up with fancy phrases such as 'One Nation, One Election' is antithetical to democracy. It is nothing but another example of authoritarian and dictatorship," he had alleged.

Seeking to give shape to the central government's concept of "one nation, one election", the Law Commission's internal working paper had recently recommended holding the Lok Sabha and assembly polls simultaneously but in two phases beginning 2019.

Political parties are divided on the issue. Besides NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal, the AIADMK, the Samajwadi Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti have supported it.

Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, DMK, Telugu Desam Party, Left parties and the JD(S) have opposed the proposal.
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