Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Rejects Rumours Of Simultaneous Elections

| January 29 , 2018 , 10:46 IST

Soon after the multiple convictions of RJD chief Lalu Yadav and his sentencing to jail, rumours were abuzz that taking advantage of Yadav's absence Bihar would call state assembly elections early to coincide with the general elections. A senior leader of JD(U) RCP Singh had hinted that the state's ruling party would be ready for assembly polls anytime after May this year, which increased speculation of early elections.

Bihar Chief Minister and BJP ally Nitish Kumar ruled out any possibility of holding state assembly elections along the 2019 general elections. Addressing an internal conference of JD(U) in Patna, Nitish Kumar confirmed that the state assembly polls would take place at the scheduled time in October-November 2020 and not next year.

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The Bihar CM added that such simultaneous elections would not be 'feasible' for states like Gujarat or Karnataka.

"Do you think we should hold another election in Gujarat where the poll has just taken place, or Karnataka where elections are due in next few months?" Kumar said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several politicians have in the past vouched for simultaneous general and state elections. PM Modi had even raised the matter in Parliament, pointing out that simultaneous elections would reduce the cost of elections considerably, both in terms of time and money.

However, the question of feasibility has been raised by several opposition parties including the Left, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress. They also said that simultaneous general and state elections would be against federal principles.