Simultaneous polls: Now, JD(U) lends support
Patna: The JD(U) on Tuesday announced its support for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections, with its Bihar president Vashishsth Narayan Singh saying that the party is prepared for it in this state in 2019 if all parties and the Election Commission reach a consensus.
In the past, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former President Pranab Mukherjee had backed the idea. Niti Aayog had also pitched for simultaneous elections from 2024 in one of its recent reports.
Addressing a Diwali Milan event organised by the BJP in New Delhi last year, Modi had said more than Rs 1,100 crore was spent on the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and the amount surged to Rs 4,000 crore in 2014. He had opined that frequent elections affect work at government offices and educational institutions as more than one crore government employees, including teachers, join election duty. Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who was in Patna last week, had also talked about holding state and general elections together in order to avoid “the politics of vote bank” and “augment development works”. The RJD, meanwhile, accused JD(U) of “surrendering to the BJP” by favouring simultaneous elections.