Andhra calls for national debate on simultaneous polls

Amaravati, March 6 (IANS) Backing the idea of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday called for a national debate on the issue by involving all sections of people.

Moving one step ahead, the government suggested that polls to even urban and rural local bodies should be conducted within one year of the elections to the Lok Sabha and assemblies.

Addressing the joint session of the Andhra Pradesh legislative council and assembly on the opening day of the Budget session here, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said in order to take a considered view on the issue, it was desirable to hold a national debate.

“My government is in full agreement with the view that elections to both the assemblies and the Lok Sabha be held simultaneously so that the governments at the Centre and in the states could pay undivided attention to issues of policy and governance during their tenures.”

“We will go a step further and suggest that elections to urban and rural local bodies too should be held within one year of elections to the state and central legislative houses,” the Governor said.

He said it would give governments time to address the issues of governance without distractions.

The Governor said, “Historically, elections to the assemblies and the Lok Sabha were held together but over the years, for varied reasons, they were de-coupled. Now, the situation has come to a stage that we conduct elections in significantly large parts of the country almost every year, if not throughout the year. Political parties, and therefore governments, continually have to keep an eye on electoral calculations. This is bound to take its toll on governance, policy-making and administration.”