BJP wants simultaneous polls, Amit Shah tells law panel

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New Delhi : The BJP on Monday upped its demand for simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls with its President Amit Shah writing to the Law Commission asserting that this would cut the huge expenses running into thousands of crore of rupees spent on elections.

In his letter, handed over by a party delegation headed by Minister M.A. Naqvi, Shah said a perpetual election process strained national resources and that in a progressive democracy like India development works and policy decisions get halted when the Model Code of Conduct for elections was enforced.

"There is no relation between Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Voters vote on different issues in both polls. Therefore, we must have faith and trust the voters," he said.

Shah said criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party's "One Nation, One Election" idea was being done for political reasons.

He said due to elections in one state or another throughout the year, works of both the state and central governments get affected.

Simultaneous elections, he said, would lead to cutting down on electoral expenditure.

The BJP delegation that met the Law Commission Chairman Justice B.S. Chauhan said necessary amendments to the Constitution should take place to realize the "One Nation, One Election" idea.

"There are over 9.30 lakh poll booths and over one crore workers are posted during polls. Rs 1,6-1,700 crore were spent in 2011 and Rs 4,000 crore in 2014 polls. 'One Nation, One Election' would reduce the cost. This exercise has been successful in several countries," BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav said.

He was speaking to reporters after the BJP delegation, which included Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Yadav and party spokesperson Anil Baluni, met the law panel.