President Pranab: Simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls can reduce expenditure

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New Delhi:

Simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies can help reduce difficulties in terms of expenditure and management, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday and asked the Election Commission to take the initiative in bringing political parties on one platform to discuss the issue.

"If political parties arrive at a consensus to make amendment to the Constitution and if the initiative is taken by the Election Commission, as they have earned the reputation of impartiality...I do believe that if political parties seriously agree on this issue with the help of EC, it may be possible," he said.

Mukherjee was addressing the National Voters Day in Delhi to mark the establishment of the commission this day in 1950.

He said simultaneous polls can "remove lot of inconvenience both in terms of expenditure and management."

BJP veteran LK Advani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mukherjee have supported this idea in the past.

After the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law supported simultaneous polls in its December, 2015 report, the government had sought the views of EC in this regard.

The commission had made it clear that it would need nearly Rs 10 thousand crore, more EVMs and more security personnel for the massive exercise. It had also pointed to the amendments the Constitution would require for the purpose.

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