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Don't see possibility of Lok Sabha, state elections being held together: Arun Jaitley

By Deepika

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that he does not see the possibility of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh being held together. However, he stated that the government is in favour of holding simultaneous elections.

Arun Jaitley

In an exclusive interview with Network18, Jaitley said that the government wants simultaneous elections to take place "but it is not necessary that dates will be advanced for that".

When asked specifically if there was a possibility of elections being pushed back for states like Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan, Jaitley stated that the Constitution would not permit pushing back of state elections for this purpose.

"Till the time the Constitution is changed, and there is consensus on the issue, the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will not overlap. And going by the reactions the issue has evoked, it seems people (Opposition) are not in favour of any such move."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview spoke out in favour of simultaneous elections.

President Ram Nath Kovind also, in his address to both Houses of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session, stressed the need for a 'sustained debate' on simultaneous elections and said that frequent elections impose a huge burden on human resources, and impede the development process.

However, the Opposition, including the Congress, has so far criticised the idea.

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