Electoral reforms possible if parties evolve consensus: Mukherjee

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that electoral reforms, inclusing simultaneous general and state elections, are possible if the Election Commission (EC) takes an initiative and political parties reach a consensus.

“There has been some talk about simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies in political circles. If the initiative is taken by the Election Commission and political parties arrive at a consensus, reform is possible,” Mukherjee said at the 7th National Voters’ Day celebrations here.

He said such a move can reduce inconvenience in terms of expenditure and management.

Mukherjee conferred national awards for best electoral practices for 2016 on 12 officers.

The President said he was confident the Election Commission can maintain its existing standards and continues to improvise and evolve.

He said the EC has made a unique contribution to strengthening the bedrock of Indian democracy. “We can take legitimate pride in the fact that we are the largest democracy in the world.”

On the occasion, the President gave election photo identity cards (EPICs) to five new young voters and felicitated six future voters.

The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated since 2011 on January 25, the day Election Commission was set up in 1950.