Need political consensus for simultaneous elections: CEC Nasim Zaidi

New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) on Wednesday said that the Election Commission was ready to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and state legislative polls if “certain conditions are met” and more resources are provided.

One of the conditions, according to CEC Nasim Zaidi, was that there should be consensus among all political parties on the move.

“The Commission can hold simultaneous elections,” Zaidi said, adding that there were two things to be noted.

“Firstly, several constitutional amendments will have to be made, and secondly there has to be a consensus among all the political parties,” Zaidi told IANS on the sidelines of an international conference on voter education, here.

“If these two things are done… then we can hold simultaneous elections. Of course, we would need extra resources… more electronic voting machines (EVMS), etc.,” he added.

He said that the Commission has already written to the Law Ministry about this.

Though Zaidi stressed for greater voter participation for a meaningful electoral process, he ruled out the option of compulsory voting.

He termed it “impractical” in the Indian context to punish those who were eligible but abstained from voting.

“The provision of punishing people for not casting their votes is impractical in India given the sheer size of our electorate,” he said.



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