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BJD, YSR Congress support Simultaneous Polls – with riders

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The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the YSR Congress on Tuesday supported the idea of simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies, albeit with certain riders.

Deposing before the Law Commission — that has invited all national and state recognised parties for face to face consultations on simultaneous polls — BJD MP Pinaki Misra said that his party is among the first to have mooted this proposal several years ago and supports it.

“The historical fact is that our party was the first to moot this idea and in fact boldly implemented it in 2004…when our Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took the unprecedented and visionary step of dissolving the satate assembly and preponing our assembly elections to coincide with Parliament elections,” Misra said after meeting the law panel.

He, however, said that his party was “strongly against” any dilution of the anti-defection provisions for the sake of prolonging the life of Lok Sabha or any state assembly in case the government loses its majority prematurely.

“Instead we would suggest adoption of the German model by which no vote of ‘no confidence’ can be entertained unless it is also accompanied by a vote of confidence proposal. This will ensure that no government can be vote dout without also at the same time voting in a fresh government,” he added.

YSR Congress Rajya Sabha MP P. Vijaysai Reddy, who came to see the law panel said that his party was a supporter of the idea of ‘one nation, one election’ in the larger interest of the nation.

“We have supported simultaneous elections for various reasons. We don’t consider this as a proposal that comes from a particular party. In the interest of the country, in the interest of development of this country, for optimal utilization of manpower and bureaucracy, ‘one country, one election’ is definitely advisable provided there is a consensus among the political parties,” Reddy said after meeting the Commission.

He said if frequent elections are avoided, the manifesto released by political parties can be implemented “in its true letter and spirit”.

“Once the disadvantages have been addressed… particularly, the anti-defection law has to be amended as it is has been misused by both the Central and state governments in their own interests,” Reddy said.

He added that the powers vested in the Speaker should be divested and the Election Commission or some other authority must be vested with the power of disposing of disqualification petition. (IANS)

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