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Many Opposed to 'One Nation, One Poll' Idea: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat After Meeting National, Regional Parties

Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat also said that it is important to hold an all-party meeting to discuss the simultaneous polls issue.

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Updated:August 27, 2018, 4:59 PM IST
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Many Opposed to 'One Nation, One Poll' Idea: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat After Meeting National, Regional Parties
Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa at a meeting with the political parties on Monday. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: Once again on Monday, Chief Election Commission OP Rawat voiced his disagreement over the concept of ‘One Nation, One Poll’, saying several opposition parties have opposed the idea and expressed concerns.

Rawat also said that it is important to hold an all-party meeting to discuss the simultaneous polls issue.

"Many parties opposed One Nation, One Poll while there were some who made some valid points in favour of simultaneous elections," he said.

Rawat and other senior officials of the Election Commission held a meeting with all national and recognized regional political parties on Monday in New Delhi to discuss issues related to elections procedures.

On the debate over going back to paper ballots after several EVMs malfunctioned in the past elections, Rawat said after the meeting, “Some of the parties said going back to ballot is bad as it would bring back booth capturing.”

“Some political parties have also said that there are problems with EVMs and VVPATs. These things have been noted down by the Commission,” Rawat added.

Last week, the election panel head had ruled out simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, saying that there was no chance at all of this happening in India.

There has been some speculation in the recent weeks that Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram due this year end may be deferred and held simultaneously along with the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for April-May 2019.

"The lawmakers will take at least a year to frame a law that can be enforceable. This process takes time. As soon as the Bill to amend the Constitution is ready, we (the Election Commission) will know that things are now moving)," Rawat had said earlier.

This comes even as BJP continues to push for 'One Nation, One Poll'. Earlier this month, party chief Amit Shah had written to the Law Commission expressing support for the idea and said any opposition to it seems to be politically motivated.

The BJP contends that holding polls at the national and state levels together will cut down on the cost of holding the elections. A paper by the Law Commission had recently recommended holding the Lok Sabha and assembly polls in two phases from 2019.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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