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Modi's idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls is neither advisable nor possible, says former Election Commissioner SY Quraishi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea of holding simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies has not found favour with SY Quraishi, former, Chief Election Commissioner, who said that considering our democratic traditions it was neither advisable nor practical.

Quarishi was speaking at a seminar organised by Haryana Institute of Public Administration in Gurugram on the issue of holding simultaneous polls.

However, Modi’s idea got some support from constitutional expert and former Secretary General of Lok Sabha, Subash C Kashyap, who said that it was within the parameters of our Constitution and in larger national interest.
Initiating the debate, Dr G Parsana Kumar, Director General of HIPA said that it was hotly debated topic across the country.

Quraishi said that it wasn’t a new idea adding that much before Modi advocated it in national executive committee meeting of his party in March 2016, about thirty years back, Congress leader Vasant Sathe had advocated for simultaneous polls.

Quraishi asked that what will happen if a Central or state government is toppled midway before completing its term, if one supporting party withdraws support. He said that people vote differently in national and state polls. He advocated that CEC should be appointed by a collegium.

Kashyap said that with Prime Minister, President of India, Niti Ayog  and Law Commission okaying the proposal, it had got legitimacy, adding that they wanted debate on the issue. He said that idea is within parameters of our Constitution. He said that in case of one party or group not getting majority, the whole house should elect a leader. Kashyap suggested that in the event of a government losing  majority in the House and no alternative being available, elections may be held  for the remaining period of the term.

MC Gupta, former Chief Secretary of Haryana said that as an administrator he was of the view that our objective should be holding simultaneous polls.
However, Gurugram Divisional Commissioner, D Suresh said that it wasn’t possible adding that it was against the spirit of democracy.

Mohinder Kumar, former Commissioner of Haryana and consultant at HIPA thanked the speakers for their valuable suggestions in the debate which was attended by a large number of bureaucrats and academicians.

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