Mamata Banerjee won’t attend meeting called to discuss ‘One Country, One Election’

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New Delhi | June 18, 2019 7:10 PM

On Sunday, Prime Minister Modi called a meeting of presidents of all parties represented in the Parliament on Thursday to discuss the issue of 'one nation, one election'.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, mamata banerjee, west bangal, pm modi, pm narendra modi, one country one electionWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has informed that she won’t attend the meeting of presidents of all political parties called by Prime Minister Modi to discuss simultaneous polls — Lok Sabha and Assembly — on Wednesday. In a letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Banerjee said that response on such a sensitive and serious subject like ‘One Country, One Election’ in such a short time won’t do justice to the subject it deserves.

“The matter requires consultations with constitutional experts, election experts and above all the party members. Instead of doing the matter hurriedly, I would like to request you to kindly circulate a White Paper on the subjects to all political parties inviting their views by providing adequate time. If you only do so, we will be able to give concrete suggestions on this important subject,” she added.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Modi called a meeting of presidents of all parties represented in the Parliament (Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha) on Thursday to discuss the issue of ‘one nation, one election’. Prime Minister Modi has been pushing the idea of simultaneous polls for quite some time. He argues that this will save money spent during polls and also save time for governance that is lost due to the enforcement of the model code of conduct.

Commenting on the idea, former chief election commissioner TS Krishnamurthy today said that the simultaneous poll is a very attractive proposal but cannot happen without a Constitutional amendment. He said a lot of administrative arrangements such as increasing the strength of paramilitary forces might be required for holding simultaneous poll but it is doable.

Communist Party of India (CPI) national general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said that this is neither possible nor necessary. He said that what will happen in the state where governments fail to complete their term. “You can’t deny democratic rights of the people and ask them to wait till the next election,” he added.

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