"Ready For Polls As Per Legal Provisions": CEC Rajiv Kumar On 'One Nation, One Election'

"Ready For Polls As Per Legal Provisions": CEC Rajiv Kumar On 'One Nation, One Election'

The centre on Saturday constituted an eight-member High-Level Committee to examine the issue of 'one nation, one election'

ANIUpdated: Thursday, September 07, 2023, 12:00 PM IST
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Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar | ECI

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Amid uproar over the Centre's 'One Nation, One Election' concept of holding simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies across the country, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday said that the Commission is ready to conduct elections as per legal provisions.

"According to the legal procedures, the Constitution and RP Act, we have the mandate to conduct the election and we are ready," Kumar said while responding to the reporters on 'One Nation, One Election, in a press conference held on the preparations for the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.

"Our duty is to deliver elections before time as per constitutional provisions and the RP Act. Article 83 (2) says that 5 years will be the term of the Parliament and its corresponding section 14 of the RP Act says that 6 months before, we can announce the elections. A similar situation exists for the state assemblies. As per legal provisions, we are always ready to conduct the elections", he said.

The centre constituted an eight-member High-Level Committee

Meanwhile, the centre on Saturday constituted an eight-member High-Level Committee to examine the issue of 'one nation, one election' and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections in the country.

Apart from the Chairperson, the committee will include Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Finance Commission chairperson NK Singh, senior advocate Harish Salve, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash C Kashyap, and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari.

However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who was named a member of the High-Level Committee (HLC) constituted by the Centre has declined to serve on the panel, saying its 'terms of reference have been prepared in a manner to guarantee its conclusions'.

Government sources said that he had given his consent to be part of the committee before notification with names came out.

Committee has been set up months before assembly polls

The committee has been set up months before assembly polls in five states and ahead of Lok Sabha polls next year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has several times pitched the idea of One Nation, One Election. In November 2020 while addressing a conference of presiding officers he said, "One nation, one election is not only a subject of debate but a necessity for India. There is an election in India every month, which hampers development. Why should the country waste so much money".

If 'One Nation, One Election' does come into effect it could mean that elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies across India will be held simultaneously.

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