An all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the ‘one nation, one election’ issue and other important matters is under way in the national capital, with several key opposition parties staying away. Those who gave the meeting a skip included the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, DMK, Trinamool Congress, and Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Aap Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu have also skipped the meet.
Among those who are attending the meet are Sukhbir Singh Badal of Akali Dal, Sharad Pawar of NCP, Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar, BJD President Naveen Patnaik, YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, CPI's D. Raja and S. Sudhakar Reddy, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechuri, TRS President K.T. Rama Rao, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti.
PM Modi has invited heads of all political parties having representatives in Parliament today to freely interact and exchange views with the government on "one nation, one election" idea, celebration of the 75 years of Independence in 2022 and 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary this year. It will be followed by a dinner-meeting with all MPs on June 20.
The prime minister's pitch for simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections has been strongly backed by Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), while some other opposition parties termed the suggestion as "impractical".
Meanwhile, former chief election commissioner T S Krishnamurthy said the 'one nation one election' idea is very attractive but cannot be put into practice without a Constitutional amendment providing for fixed tenure for legislatures.
Krishnamurthy, who oversaw the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, said a lot of administrative arrangements, including increasing the strength of paramilitary forces for poll duties, might be required for holding simultaneous elections but they are possible.
The idea has several advantages, he said, but the biggest impediment in its implementation is constitutional provision relating to no-confidence motion and related issues.
The only way out is amendment by which you say...a vote of confidence will be effective only if some other person is elected as a leader; otherwise old government will continue. Unless you provide for fixed tenure of the House, it's not possible", he told PTI.
With Agency Inputs