Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik backs PM on simultaneous elections, Congress sees red

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New Delhi | Published: June 27, 2018 12:01:19 PM

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously.

Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, simultaneous elections, Congress, BJP, Law Commission, Indian National Congress, Odisha Assembly pollsOdisha CM Naveen Patnaik backs PM on simultaneous elections, Congress sees red

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously. Responding to the Law Commission’s letter, the 71-year-old leader said that holding elections together will save money, time and make governments more efficient.

Sharing the Law Commission’s letter which sought the opinion of political parties including his on the matter, the Odisha CM said: “Elections are essential in democracy. We are elected to work for the people. When elections are held throughout the year, It affects the development works. Therefore we support the suggestion of PM Narendra Modi for simultaneous elections. This will serve the country well.”

The BJD welcomed its leader’s views on the matter. Party MP from Baleswar Rabindra Kumar Jena said that when elections are conducted together, it will save financial resources and time as well.

However, Patnaik’s call didn’t go down well with the Congress. Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra said that there is a ‘silent agreement between the BJD and BJP’. He said that Patnaik feels that the idea of simultaneous election will benefit his party because the “BJP can’t dump all its muscle and money in one state” as it has been doing since 2014.

Elections in the eastern state are due to be held next year, concurrent with the general elections.

Prime Minister Modi has been advocating holding elections together to cut the expense and give more time to governments to implement the development works.

Recently, the Law Commission had written to all recognised national and regional parties seeking their views on the matter. The Commission has proposed a meeting with all the parties on July 7 and 8 in Delhi to discuss the issue. There are seven recognised national and 49 regional political parties in the country.

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