After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Aam Aadmi Party president Arvind Kejriwal, DMK president MK Stalin and TDC Chief Chandrababu Naidu have also refused to attend the all party meeting to discuss Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘One Nation One Election’ initiative.
However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to send Raghav Chadha as his proxy to represent the Aam Aadmi Party. Jayadev Galla will represent the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). The prime minister has called a meeting of heads of various political parties in both the Houses of Parliament to discuss the idea of one nation, one election. While most of the parties have played down the idea, a few have rejected to attend the meeting.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC president Mamata Banerjee was the first opposition leader to reject the invite. Mamata said that a day's dialogue was not enough to take a call on holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
“A proper response on such a sensitive and serious subject like the "One Country, one election" in such a short time would not do justice to the subject it deserves. The matter requires consultations with constitutional experts, elections experts and above all the party members,” Mamata said in her letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.
“Instead of doing the matter hurriedly, I would request you to kindly circulate a White Paper on the subject to all political parties inviting their views by providing adequate time. If you only do so, we will be able to give concrete suggestions on this important subject,” she added.
The Congress and most opposition parties will meet Wednesday morning to take a call on attending the meeting scheduled in the afternoon that day. In August last year, the Law Commission had recommended holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies to save public money.
The Commission, in draft recommendations, said simultaneous polls would help the government of the day focus on “developmental activities rather than electioneering”.
The draft, submitted to the Law Ministry, had recommended “holding of simultaneous elections to House of the People (Lok Sabha) and the State Legislative Assemblies (except the State of Jammu and Kashmir)”. It, however, cautioned that “holding simultaneous elections is not possible within the existing framework of the Constitution”.