**Bhubaneswar: ** A day after BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik agreed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal for holding simultaneous elections of both the Assembly and Lok Sabha to save hefty expenditure as well as scuttling of developmental activities due to imposition of model code of conduct every now and then, it has sparked off political reactions in Odisha.
As the grand old national party Congress is opposed to it, Odisha Congress spokesperson Ganeswar Behera in his reactions said, “Major political parties including Congress and Left parties are opposed to holding of simultaneous elections.”
He commented, “The main reason behind such an idea is political benefit. Who is batting for simultaneous elections? The person is none other than the Prime Minister. Under his instructions, the NITI Aayog has prepared the documents. Under his direction, the Law Commission has initiated its exercise on it.”
“It’s a shrewd conspiracy by the Prime Minister to divert attention from his multiple failures. It will never be successful. As a government falls midway, it has to wait long for the election to be held. Hence, an undesired government will be imposed on the people till the next election which is undemocratic,” the senior Congress leader lambasted.
Odisha BJP president Basant Panda reacted, “As developmental activites are being hampered owing to several elections from time to time, the Prime Minister seeks that both the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections be conducted simultaneously.”
He added, “Even though delayed, the Odisha Chief Minister has supported the idea. We thank him, but it would be unfortunate if the Chief Minister has agreed taking into view vested political interest. Thus, the Chief Minister’s sudden decision has also surprised us.”
On the contrary, ruling BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said, “The Prime Minister has mooted this proposal a year ago as simultaneous election will curtail poll expenses incurred and also will protect development agenda being derailed in all States as well as the Central Government.”
“But to implement it, there are several legal hurdles, constitutional hurdles and also hurdles faced by Election Commission. For this purpose, the Law Commission has been entrusted with job to find out the pros and cons for which the Law Commission has written to all State Governments to present their respective opinions by June 30. Yesterday whatever opinion the Odisha Chief Minister has presented is in response to the Law Commission’s query. Thus, it has got no political colour,” he stated.
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