Monday, October 2, 2023

One nation, One poll: Anurag Thakur says no plans to delay or advance polls

The Centre has no plans to call early general elections and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would like to serve India’s citizens till the last day of his current term, Union minister Anurag Thakur said on Sunday in an exclusive interview with India Today.

The minister said that the government has no plans to delay the upcoming assembly elections to hold them later along with the general elections due early next year. The Centre earlier this week called a five-day special session of Parliament, which set off a buzz that the government may bring in three key bills including the one for simultaneous elections. Some suggested that the government may either pre-pone the general election or delay the polls in five states scheduled for later this year.

However, Thakur said Centre has no such plans. He said the government has set up a committee on ‘One Nation, One Election’ and the committee will do an extensive round of deliberations with stakeholders before norms are finalised for the single poll.

Centre on Saturday notified the eight-member committee headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind to examine and make recommendations on the issue of holding simultaneous polls. However, senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declined the invitation to be part of committee. Thakur said the government would like Adhir Ranjan Choudhary to be a part of the committee. “Including the voice of the opposition shows the large-heartedness of the Modi government,” he added.

Thakur hinted that the government has big plans for the special session of Parliament which starts on September 18, but he did not reveal the agenda of the special session. Earlier in the day, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi voiced his opposition to the idea of “one nation, one election” and called it an attack on the Indian Union and all its states. In a post on X, Gandhi said, “INDIA, that is Bharat, is a Union of States. The idea of ‘one nation, one election’ is an attack on the Union and all its States.”



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