Aiming at an efficient conduction of elections in the country, the Election Commission of India (EC) on Wednesday told Central government that it will be ‘logistically ready’ by September 2018 to hold both Lok Sabha and state elections at the same time. The poll panel has also launched a web-based application called Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) network for the same. Speaking to media on the launch of ERONet software which will check inaccuracy and duplicity during elections, Election Commissioner O P Rawat said that the government had sought a response from the Election Commission on the holding of simultaneous state and national polls.
“In response, the EC had asked for funds to purchase new EVMs and VVPAT machines. The commission would be logistically equipped by September 2018, to hold parliamentary and assembly polls together,” Rawat said further.
Rawat also informed that EC had stated to the central government that funds would be needed for requisite number of EVMs and VVPATs and had got Rs 3,400 crore and Rs 12,000 crore respectively.
“Orders had been placed with two government undertakings and the delivery of machines had already begun. All machines would be delivered by September 2018 after which the Election Commission would be in a position to hold simultaneous polls,” he said.
As per EC, as many as 40 lakh EVMs and VVPATs would be needed for simultaneous elections. “We will be logistically ready to hold simultaneous polls by September 2018 but it is up to the government to take a decision and make necessary legal amendments for it,’’ Rawat added further.
According to a report by Indian Express, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been pushing for simultaneous elections to assemblies and Lok Sabha but several other political parties are not in the favour of the same.
As many as seven states are slated for the assembly elections in 2018 starting with Himachal Pradesh where the old governance term ends on January 27, 2018 followed by Gujarat on January 22. Other states which will have assembly elections are Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.