New Delhi: In the midst of the BJP’s push for “One Nation, One Poll”, the Election Commission Tuesday appeared to rule out simultaneous polls to assemblies and the Lok Sabha given the present logistics and constitutional provisions. Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said, however, the commission would continue to deliver its responsibility of conducting polls whenever the term of a state assembly comes to an end.
“On the issue of One Nation, One Poll, the commission had given inputs and suggestions in 2015 itself. Logistics arrangements with reference to 100 per cent availability of voter verified paper audit trail (VVPATs) will be a constraint,” Rawat told the media. He also said if the term of some state assembly needed to be curtailed or extended then a constitutional amendment would be required. Other requirements of additional police force and polling personnel was also needed.
“The commission will continue to deliver its responsibility of conducting elections whenever the term of state assembly comes to an end,” Rawat said.
The Chief Election Commissioner’s remarks come amidst the push by the BJP for simultaneous parliament and assembly elections over which the party President, Amit Shah, wrote a letter to the Law Commission Monday.
There was speculation that the ruling party could aim at limited simultaneous polls by either advancing the Lok Sabha polls along with assembly polls in states like Maharashtra and combine them with elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh later this year. Or in the alternative, the year-end polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram could be postponed till the Lok Sabha polls next year.
90,000 EVMs reach state
Bhubaneswar: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar Tuesday said over 90,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have reached the state. The EVMs were brought in as many as 70 railway containers from Uttar Pradesh and have been kept in Jharsuguda Container Corporation yard. In the first phase, the machines have been sent to 10 districts and an examination of the EVMs is now going on, he said. Similarly, VVPAT machines procured from six states such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, MP, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh will reach Odisha in different slots by September 30. Training of 490 returning officers has been completed, he added.
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