Prime Minister Narendra Modi has mooted a proposal to hold simultaneous elections to panchayats, state assemblies and Parliament across the country before political parties.This was conveyed to BJP office-bearers at a meeting ahead of the party conclave earlier this month. Modi had made the suggestion at an all-party meeting in February, ahead of the Budget session of Parliament and it had got a positive response from even the Opposition, BJP sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister told the BJP office-bearers that in view of frequent elections, because of varying timing of elections to Lok Sabha, state assemblies and panchayats, party workers got involved in political work more than social work, the sources said. He also said that the recurrent process of elections caused delay in welfare schemes reaching the people, the sources said.Though they said that it was conveyed that there was political consensus on synchronising elections, the government is unsure of the Opposition’s reaction once a concrete proposal is placed on the table.In the past, a similar recommendation had been made by senior BJP leader LK Advani, who had called for simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies, saying that a perpetual election mode which is “not good for governance or for the polity”. In a blog written in 2012, Advani appealed to the President to take the initiative regarding poll reforms, including a fixed tenure for Lok Sabha and state assemblies and synchronising the polls, as it was till 1967. In 1971, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had dissolved Lok Sabha ahead of schedule, changing the timing of the general polls. Similarly, state assemblies also went to polls at varying time because of governments dissolving them at any point of time.The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice had in December recommended holding simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections to reduce expenditure and frequent disruption of normal life. “The Committee does not feel that simultaneous election in every five years cannot be held in the near future but slowly it would reach in stages for which tenure of some of the state Legislative Assemblies need to be curtailed or extended,” the Committee had said in its report.Chairman of the panel and Congress MP EM Sudarsana Nachiappan said that assemblies and Lok Sabha should complete their terms. “I cannot speak on behalf of Congress party. But as chairman of Standing Committee I supervised discussions, consultations and also drafted the report. I gathered that short-lived Lok Sabhas and assemblies are not good news for an average legislator who spent a lot of money, energy and time to get elected.Such legislators yearn for a stable five-year term that ensures time and scope to work for their constituencies,” he told dna on Wednesday when asked about simultaneous elections.However, in the written submissions in the annexure to the report, the Congress and CPI have expressed apprehensions about implementation of the proposal while the Trinamool Congress opposed it outright. The Congress’s view was that while it may sound ideal, it was “impractical, unworkable and can lead to a scenario where the necessary balance in Indian democracy given the diversity of the country is lost.”The AIADMK, SAD, IUML and DMDK supported the suggestion. The stand of several parties, including the BJP itself, was not mentioned in the report.

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Narendra Modi floats idea of synchronising all elections, tests waters