PM appeals to parties to consider simultaneous polls

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a strong pitch for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Assemblies and asked all parties to consider this suggestion by rising above political considerations.

To press his argument, Modi cited various reasons, including huge expenditure, utilisation of government staff and disruption of education, in the conduct of separate polls.

“One party or a government cannot do it. We will have to find a way together… It (simultaneous polls) will cause some loss to all, including us,” he said, asking parties to not look at the idea through the prism of politics.

Elections are being held all the time somewhere or else in the country and continuous elections lead to lot of expenditure, he said replying to the debate in Lok Sabha on the Motion of thanks to the President’s Address.

Talking about the rising cost of elections, Modi said over Rs 1100 crore was spent in holding the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and the expenditure shot up to Rs 4000 crore in 2014.

He asked, “How much burden can a poor country like ours suffer?”

He added that over a crore government employees, including a lot of teachers, are involved in electoral process and the continuous exercise causes maximum harm to the education sector.

Security forces also have to be diverted across the year for electoral work even while enemy country keeps plotting against the nation and terrorism remains a strong threat, he said.