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Saturday 25 January 2020

Let’s debate simultaneous Central & State polls: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a wider public debate on holding simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies. Speaking at the Diwali Mangal Milan programme organised by the BJP here on Thursday, Prime Minister Modi said that it appears that there is a halt in the debate on some issues, and if media plays its role in carrying forward the debate, it will be good.

Modi, who had floated the idea at an all-party meeting ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, said political parties favoured simultaneous polls but some were reluctant to say it.

“Leaders from various parties support simultaneous polls in private but do not speak out publicly. Perhaps this is because I took the initiative. It warrants a public debate in which media can play a vital role,” Modi said.

“Such issues should be discussed to seek public opinion… it could go either way, maybe people will support or oppose it but there should be a discussion that the media needs to initiate,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “Elections cause several impediments including financial burden… therefore, the viability of simultaneous polls should be explored.”

Issues such as the frequent application of the model code of conduct, poll funding etc. also need to be re-looked seriously, he said.

“There will be hesitation for some time. But, despite such dilemma, the public discourse should continue,” Modi said. A decision in this regard cannot be imposed by the government, he insisted, and so it was necessary to give impetus to a discussion.

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