‘One Nation, One Election’: PM chairs all party meet as several oppn leaders give a miss
New Delhi, June 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting on Wednesday to discuss a range of issues including 'one nation, one election' in the country.
The government has invited chiefs of all political parties who have representation in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
Besides, invitations have also been extended to parties who have no representation in the Parliament.
Modi had been pitching for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies ever since he took over as the Prime Minister of India in 2014. He had been pressing for holding constructive dialogue to enable the Election Commission to hold elections simultaneously to bring down the expenses. Besides, this will also give governments more free hands and time to implement welfare schemes.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who heads the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state, has excused herself from attending the meeting while asking the government to prepare a white paper on 'one nation, one election' idea.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao would not attend Wednesday's meeting. The TRS, however, made it clear that K.T. Rama Rao, working president of the party and son of the chief minister, would represent the party in the meeting.
Both Banerjee and Rao had also skipped the prime minister's swearing-in ceremony on May 30 and also the NITI Aayog meeting last week.
Meanwhile, ahead of the party presidents' meeting, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance held a meeting chaired by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the issue.
Congress took the decision of staying away from the meeting after consultations with other parties on the issue.
The agenda for the meeting also includes discussions on the celebration of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year. It will be followed by a dinner meeting with all the MPs on Thursday.