Simultaneous polls need of the hour: President Kovind
New Delhi, Jun 20 : Noting that frequent elections in various parts of the country have impacted the pace and continuity of development, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday urged parliamentarians to seriously consider the "development-oriented" proposal of holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
His remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a brain storming session with heads of 21 political parties on holding simultaneous polls.
After the meeting, the prime minister announced setting up a committee to give time-bound suggestions on various issues related to the proposal of 'one nation, one election'.
Addressing the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament, Kovind said, " 'One Nation Simultaneous Elections' is the need of the hour, which would facilitate accelerated development, thereby benefiting our countrymen. With such a system in place, all political parties, according to their respective ideologies, will be able to better utilize their energy towards development and public welfare."
He urged all members of Parliament "to seriously ponder over this development oriented proposal of One Nation - Simultaneous Elections."
He said, during the last few decades, due to frequent elections being held in some part of the country or the other, "the pace and continuity of development programmes have been impacted."
"Our countrymen have demonstrated their wisdom by delivering a clear verdict...One Nation Simultaneous Elections is the need of the hour, which would facilitate accelerated development, thereby benefiting our countrymen. With such a system in place, all political parties, according to their respective ideologies, will be able to better utilize their energy towards development and public welfare," he said.
Last August, the Law Commission had recommended holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies to save public money.
The draft, submitted to the Law Ministry, however, cautioned that holding simultaneous elections is not possible within the existing framework of the Constitution.
The Centre has been toying with the idea for quite some time now.The government think-tank, NITI Aayog, had last year suggested synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and Assembly polls from 2024 to ensure minimum campaign-mode disruption to governance.