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Simultaneous Lok Sabha And State Polls Possible From September 2018, Confirms EC

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| October 5 , 2017 , 08:23 IST

Government think-tank NITI Aayog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pranab Mukherjee all batted for simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, which the Election Commission of India has said that may be logistically possible from as early as September 2018.

Although NITI Aayog had predicted that simultaneous elections would be possible from 2024, the EC on Wednesday confirmed the logistics would be ready by September 2018 itself. However, even if the logistics are in place, the legal and political aspects would still need to be worked out. Synchronising state elections would require extensive discussions with the respective state governments, some of which would be forced to curb their tenure to allow the polls to come in sync.

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“We will be logistically ready to hold simultaneous polls by September 2018 but it is up to the government to take a decision and make necessary legal amendments for it,’’ Election Commissioner O P Rawat said.

Speaking at an event launch in Bhopal, Rawat said that the EC had conveyed to the government the funds needed for the requisite number of EVMs and VVPATs, and that Rs 3,400 crore and Rs 12,000 crore were granted respectively.

Rawat added that orders have already been placed with two government undertakings and the machine deliveries have begun as well. All the machines are expected to be delivered by September 2018 after which the EC would be equipped for conducting simultaneous polls.

Simultaneous elections offer several benefits, such as reduced expenses for campaigning, less wastage of time, less disruption.

Elections in 7 states are due in 2018, namely Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.