Congress rejects simultaneous polls

Congress rejects simultaneous polls

Agency News

As the momentum favouring simultaneous elections picked up, the Congress party on Tuesday strongly rejected the proposal and said it is a ‘constitutional perversity’ and hits at the very core of democracy in the country.

Addressing mediapersons here, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said any such proposal would be anti-thesis to democracy and go against the basic structure of the Constitution as also the letter and spirit of the democracy.

He alleged that the proposal of simultaneous election dressed up with fancy phrases such as ‘one nation, one election, is another example of an authoritarian dictatorship. “It seems like ploy o keep various states under long spells of President’s rule”, he alleged.

Singhvi said while the Congress party did not go to Law Commission, which had held consultation with the political parties on simultaneous polls, it has given its opinion in writing to the Election Commission, added that Congress stand has not changed.

The Congress spokesperson alleged that the Modi government is trying to impose the ‘compulsory’ simultaneous polls and said this is to deny the people’s right of electing their government and representative.

“The federal structure of the country’s polity would stand decimated by such an authoritarian and autocratic step”, added Singhvi. Pointing out at the details of the propel, Singhvi said if an assembly was to be dissolved before the completion of its tenure of five years, it would be compulsory kept suspended animation and impose Governor’s rule on the people for the remaining tenure.

“When there are long spells of President’s rule, it is the tyranny of the unelected state”, said Singhvi. He also said in case the Parliament was to be dissolved for some reason prior to the completion of its tenure, “won’t the country come under President’s rule”?

Referring to the Congress stand on simultaneous polls, Mr Singhvi added that holding of simultaneous election would require the dissolution of several assemblies which are still halfway or less through their terms.

“This would be a betrayal of the electorate in those states and would result in a significant expenses to the exchequer”, he said. He also said, even if simultaneous polls are announced there is no guarantee that all the state governments will be formed and will serve their full five years terms. “This would result in holding of elections again and defeat the purpose of the simultaneous polls”, Mr Singhvi said.

He questioned the government’s move to go ahead with the proposal and asked “does the Constitution authorise the Central government to dissolve the assemblies or suspend the governments, except under the emergency clauses? What exactly is Mr Modi’s idea of federalism?”

He further said that the Prime Minister argues that hundreds of crores would be saved if elections are held together, but a RTI revealed that one time cost of all state and central elections would be Rs 4500Cr.

“Another RTI reveals Modi government’s expenditure on advertisements in last four years is Rs 4600 crore, more than cost of elections. This shows that Modi govt's concern for poll expenditure is jumla” said Mr Singhvi.

He also pointed out that the concept of federalism, which is upheld by the Constitution and multi-party Parliamentary system, would also be endangered, if simultaneous elections take place. “Large parties with a large footprint will have more advantage in campaign, spending and publicity and the voices of regional parties would be submerged in the din”, said Singhvi.

He further said that the simultaneous election is proposed by “a self-absorbed, narcissist and self –centrered Modi Government and the BJP that has no regard for Constitutional norms and established conventions”. UNI