Government welcomes debate on simultaneous polls: President

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that frequent elections put development programmes on hold and the government welcomes a constructive debate on simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

Addressing the joint session of the two houses of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, the President said that funding of elections to eradicate the misuse of money power also needs to be debated.

“Frequent elections put on hold development programmes, disrupt normal public life, impact essential services and burden human resource with prolonged periods of election duty. My government welcomes a constructive debate on simultaneous conduct of elections to Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies,” he said.

“Funding of elections to eradicate the misuse of money power also needs to be debated. My government would welcome any decision taken by the Election Commission in this regard after consultations with political parties,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pitching for a debate on the need of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

Mukherjee had also referred to the issue in his address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day, saying the time was ripe for a constructive debate on electoral reforms and a return to the practice of the early decades after independence when elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies were held simultaneously.

–IANS

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