Picture Courtesy PTI

Simultaneous State And General Elections Will Benefit Only Modi And Shah: Congress

The BJP's push for simultaneous polls only seeks to benefit Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, according to the Congress.

In an interview with BloombergQuint, Praveen Chakravarty, the head of the Congress' data analytics division, said Modi and Shah want to campaign in every election across the country and simultaneous elections would, thus, be a lesser time-consuming process for them.

Let’s not change the constitutional structure of this country for two people.
Praveen Chakravarty, Head-Data Analytics, Congress

Chakravarty offered a comprehensive rebuttal to the points raised by Shah in his recent letter to the Law Commission that batted for simultaneous polls.

Always In Election Mode

Shah had said in his letter that the primary reason to push for simultaneous polls was to ensure that India doesn’t be in an perpetual “election mode”. Chakravarty said simultaneous polls would amount to an attack on India’s federal structure as it would would rob states of their federal powers.

Election Expenses

Chakravarty said the cost argument cited by Shah was hollow. Citing data from the Election Commission and NITI Aayog, Chakravarty said the exchequer spends only about Rs 1,400 crore per year on elections over a five-year term.

Model Code Of Conduct

Shah had, in his letter, pointed out that the Model Code of Conduct—that comes into force ahead of an election—adversely impacts development and policy-making. Chakravarty called this argument “farcical”, saying that the imposition of the conduct in one state doesn’t hamper work in other states.

Populist Measures

The Congress representative also termed as bizarre Shah’s allegation that governments and parties announce ‘populist’ and ‘short-sighted’ policies as elections approach, which affects governance. “The suggestion is against electoral democracy.”

Why don’t we just have a long-term 30-year view for policy making and have somebody sit in Delhi and make those policies for the country?
Praveen Chakravarty, Head-Data Analytics, Congress

Watch the entire interview here: