Pranab Mukherjee backs Modi’s idea of holding all elections together

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee indicated on Monday that he is in favour of holding all elections together, an idea that was mooted by PM Narendra Modi recently.

According to a report, when a Class 11 student asked the President on the spending on elections and whether it would be good to hold all polls at once, he replied, “The Election Commission can also put in their idea and efforts on holding the polls together and that will be highly beneficial.”

Mukherjee, while teaching students in the school inside the President’s Estate in Delhi as part of the second edition of his ‘Pranab Sir’s class’, also said India is “substantially free” from the globally witnessed menace of homegrown terrorism as citizens possess “ethnicity in mind and have faith in pluralism”.

The President also spoke about the worrisome development of “political assassinations” in India and its neighbourhood adding that despite these instances “we have had a stable political regime”.

The special session was held to observe ‘Teachers Day’ with students of Class XI of the Delhi government-run Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya during which Mukherjee said “secularism is part of the life” for Indians. India has suffered the brunt of terrorism, including that of the cross-border variety, he said.

The President said it was the credit and success of India’s policy and acumen of the administration that incidents of homegrown terrorism, the biggest menace to international peace and community, has kept India “substantially free” from its tentacles.

“It is we who are attacked and we are the victims of cross-border attacks… But not so much of homegrown terror,” he said, adding this was because of the “ethnicity of mind, belief and faith in pluralism, huge diversity in language, religion, food… Almost in everything.” We all belong to the same system, the President said, adding that this quality was “unique”.

Talking for about 50 minutes to the students on the subject of ‘Politics in India since Independence’, he recounted the evolution of the democratic process in India post Independence, the building up of the electoral process and participation of Indians in the constitutional democracy.

The President, who has worked as a teacher before he took the political plunge, also taught the students about the formation of political parties including the creation of the BJP from Jansangh and the advent of coalition politics in the country.

He remembered the “formation” of states by the State Reorganisation of Commission as an “important development” in India’s history. Mukherjee called the partition of the country as a “psychological trauma” for the people who were extricated from their homes adding creation of communal tension was an aftermath of this but our political leaders and statesmen controlled these issues.