Si­mul­ta­ne­ous polls: Now, JD(U) lends sup­port

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - Piyush.Tri­pathi @times­group.com

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.

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