The committee on ‘one nation, one election’ headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind has received nearly 21,000 suggestions from the public out of which 81 percent “affirmed” the idea of simultaneous polls, an official statement said on Sunday.
The statement further said that suggestions were also invited from 46 political parties.
“Till date, suggestions have been received from 17 political parties,” it said.
Various opposition parties, including the Congress and the TMC, have opposed the idea of holding simultaneous polls.
On January 5, the panel issued a public notice inviting suggestions from citizens for making appropriate changes in the existing legal-administrative framework to enable simultaneous elections in the country.
The Kovind-led committee, which was constituted in September last year, held its third meeting on Sunday.
“Altogether 20,972 responses were received out of which 81 per cent affirmed the idea of simultaneous election,” the committee said after its meeting.
Sunday’s meeting of the panel was attended by former leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, former chairman of 15th Finance Commission N K Singh, former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash C Kashyap, and former chief vigilance commissioner Sanjay Kothari, the statement said.
Suggestions by the Election Commission were also noted by the committee.
As the panel sought suggestions from the public and political parties, Kovind has also initiated consultations with eminent jurists, former chief justices of the Supreme Court and high courts, former chief election commissioners, and heads of Bar Council of India, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and CII.
The panel will meet again on January 27, the statement said.
The committee has heard the views of the Law Commission on simultaneous polls. The law panel could be called again on the issue.
According to its terms of reference, the committee is meant to “examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections to the House of the People (Lok Sabha), state legislative assemblies, municipalities and panchayats, keeping in view the existing framework under the Constitution and other statutory provisions…”
For this purpose, the committee will “…examine and recommend specific amendments to the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act, 1950, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the rules made thereunder and any other law or rules which would require amendments for the purpose of holding simultaneous elections”.
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