NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an all-party meeting on Wednesday said that a committee will be formed to look into the various issues regarding the “one nation, one election” plan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, said after the conclusion of the meeting which lasted for over three-and-a-half hours.
Singh said that five major agendas were discussed in the meeting, including the “one nation, one election” agenda.
He said that members of all the opposition parties present at the meeting supported the idea barring the CPI and CPI-M.
“Only CPI and CPI-M expressed difference of opinion, saying how it could be implemented,” the Defence Minister said.
Over 40 parties were invited for the meeting in which 21 party chiefs participated while three expressed their inability to join the meeting citing some reasons, Singh added.
Odisha chief minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik has supported the Centre’s idea.
“Frequent elections affect the pace of development and also rock the spirit of cooperative federalism. The BJD will fully support the idea of ‘one nation, one election’,” Patnaik said, adding there has to be a “give and take” attitude in the larger interest of the country.
Moreover, even Congress leader Milind Deora appeared to be supporting the idea of holding simultaneous polls in the country and called for a debate on the issue.
He said being in continuous election mode is a roadblock to good governance and distracts politicians from addressing real issues.
Terming ‘one nation, one election’ an “important and valuable reform”, he said the government should decide on it by taking all political parties on board and seeking opinions of the intelligentsia, organisations working on electoral reforms and students. Modi had invited the heads of all political parties which have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha for the meeting to discusss the issue of “one nation, one election”.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar, SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik and National People’s Party leader Conard Sangma were among those who attended the meeting at the Parliament House library building.
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah also attended the meet.
Among the notable absentees were Congress president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, BSP supremo Mayawati, SP president Akhilesh Yadav, DMK’s M K Stalin, TDP chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Admi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal.