However, Rawat clarified that the Election Commission would be ready to hold Lok Sabha election with Assembly elections of five states in May 2019.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat in while talking to CNN-News 18 on Saturday afternoon ruled out the possibility of early Lok Sabha elections this year with state assembly polls scheduled to be conducted in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Chattisgarh. Om Prakash Rawat attributed the unfeasibility of simultaneous elections to lack of delivery of such huge number of machines by September end. Rawat said that to get a first level check of all machines within that short time will not be possible.
Rawat had recently cautioned holding of five simultaneous polls when he said that the Indian judiciary and Constitution did not have the adequate legal framework for holding of two elections together and that it will take a lot of time to get ready. Rawat during the interview clearly stated that the possibility of holding Lok Sabha elections with Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh was not feasible as EVM VVPATs required for both elections to be held together were not adequate.
However, Rawat clarified that the Election Commission would be ready to hold Lok Sabha election with Assembly elections of five states in May 2019. Rawat said not much time will be required to hold elections after the necessary changes are made to the Representation of People’s Act as the EC and Centre can make arrangements regarding adequate EVM’s and Central Paramilitary Forces for the purpose.
Earlier this year, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also stressed on the difficulty of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together due to certain constitutional restraints but asserted that he was in principle supporting PM Narendra Modi’s initiative of holding two elections. According to Kumar, simultaneous polls will be cost effective and provide governments more time to increase development.
President Ram Nath Kovind had also advocated holding of simultaneous polls which he said will help decrease the burden on resources impeding development.