Putting an end to all rumours and speculations, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Thursday ruled out any possibilities of holding simultaneous elections to the state assemblies along with the Lok Sabha polls anytime soon, saying that proper legal framework needs to be sorted amid speculations that the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram that are due this year may be postponed and held simultaneously with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“Koi chance nahi” (no chance at all), Rawat told a select media meet in Aurangabad after he was asked about simultaneous Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections.
Recently, BJP president Amit Shah called on for a ‘healthy and open debate’ for simultaneous elections.
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“The lawmakers will take at least a year to frame a law that can be enforceable. This process takes time. As soon as the Bill to amend the Constitution is ready, we (the Election Commission) will know that things are now moving),” Rawat said.
The EC begins preparations for the Lok Sabha elections 14 months before the scheduled timeframe of the polling, Rawat said.
“The Commission has a staff strength of just 400 but deploys 1.11 crore people on poll duty during elections,” he said.
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When asked about the ‘failure’ of the EVMs, Rawat said that the understanding of the system is not comprehensive enough.
“There is just a 0.5 to 0.6 per cent rate of failure and such a rate of machine failure is acceptable, “ he said, adding that the Voter Verified Paper Trail (VVPAT) usage is a new concept after the commitment to have 100 per cent VVPATs following ‘political pressure’.
(With inputs from PTI)