Amid BJP's push for simultaneous polls, EC prepares for 'normal' elections

Even as the BJP is making all efforts to hold the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections simultaneously, the Election Commission (EC) is reportedly preparing only for the Lok Sabha and some state polls due at the same time.

According to Times of India, EC has ordered equipment based on the requirements for the Lok Sabha polls and elections in the five states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh only. The order includes 1.74 million voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units, 1.39 million ballot units and 930,000 control units. 

Although talks over simultaneous polls has been in place for a long time, the poll panel does not have backing of any law to start preparation by its own.

"We cannot put the cart before the horse. Logistical issues are subservient to the legal framework. Unless the legal framework is in place, we do not have to talk about anything else, because the legal framework will take a lot of time," Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Om Prakash Rawat had recently said.

The proposal for simultaneous polls is currently being examined by the Law Commission.

On Monday, BJP President Amit Shah made a strong pitch for simultaneous polls saying that it will lead to cuts in the otherwise huge expenses borne on holding elections at present.

 
In his letter to the law panel, he also rejected the objections by different opposition parties that the idea of "One Nation, One Election" will be against the basic structure of the Indian federal system.

"In fact, it will strengthen the federal structure in India," Shah said.

Congress along with a few other opposition parties have opposed the idea, saying it is against the basic structure of Indian federalism.

Last month, Congress leader Abhishek Manu 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.


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