NEW DELHI Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an all-party meeting on Wednesday said that a committee will be formed to look into the various issues regarding the “one nation, one election” plan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, said after the conclusion of the meeting which lasted for over three-and-a-half hours.
Singh said that five major agendas were discussed in the meeting, including the “one nation, one election” agenda.
He said that members of all the opposition parties present at the meeting supported the idea barring the CPI and CPI-M.
“Only CPI and CPI-M expressed difference of opinion, saying how it could be implemented,” the Defence Minister said.
Over 40 parties were invited for the meeting in which 21 party chiefs participated while three expressed their inability to join the meeting citing some reasons, Singh added.
Odisha chief minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik has supported the Centre’s idea.
“Frequent elections affect the pace of development and also rock the spirit of cooperative federalism. The BJD will fully support the idea of ‘one nation, one election’,” Patnaik said, adding there has to be a “give and take” attitude in the larger interest of the country.
Moreover, even Congress leader Milind Deora appeared to be supporting the idea of holding simultaneous polls in the country and called for a debate on the issue.
He said being in continuous election mode is a roadblock to good governance and distracts politicians from addressing real issues.
Terming ‘one nation, one election’ an “important and valuable reform”, he said the government should decide on it by taking all political parties on board and seeking opinions of the intelligentsia, organisations working on electoral reforms and students. Modi had invited the heads of all political parties which have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha for the meeting to discusss the issue of “one nation, one election”.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar, SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik and National People’s Party leader Conard Sangma were among those who attended the meeting at the Parliament House library building.
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah also attended the meet.
Among the notable absentees were Congress president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, BSP supremo Mayawati, SP president Akhilesh Yadav, DMK’s M K Stalin, TDP chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Admi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal.
Idea Good But Shouldnt Undermine Federal Structure: Farooq
National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday called for thorough examination of the one nation, one poll proposal, saying the idea was good provided it doesnt undermine the federal structure of India.
Consensus on this important issue is imperative and all the political parties must examine the issue threadbare, Dr Farooq Abdullah told the All Parties Meet convened by Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi in the national capital.
On the issue of smooth functioning of parliament, Abdullah said that more onus to ensure this lies on the government, which had to answer the queries being raised by the members, who represent people and their aspirations. He said the government has to be responsive to the call attention notices and other vital issues being raised by MPs. More responsibility lies on the government in facilitating healthy and smooth debates and discussions, he added.
The National Conference chief elaborately dwelt upon the agenda point pertaining to building of new India and said the politics of hate had to be eschewed and an atmosphere created wherein people of all faiths and castes get equal opportunities in progress, education, jobs and empowerment. He regretted over the frenzy and polarization created during the recent elections which vitiated the atmosphere and said there has to be end to hate politics. He said the minorities nurtured a sense of insecurity. He said secularism is core of the constitution drafted by Baba Saheb Dr B R Ambedkar, which is needed to be strengthened and sustained at all costs.
Abdullah also pitched for celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi in a befitting manner, saying his contribution to the inclusive character of India has been immense.
Many of the participants in this meeting must not have seen Mahatma Gandhi. When young, I had the privilege of meeting him during his visit to Kashmir during the regime of Maharja Hari Singh. Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah used to have interactions with the Mahatma, an apostle of peace, in Birla House. He paid price for the values he cherished the most, Dr Farooq Abdullah said and stressed the need for teaching various facets of the life of Father of Nation in schools and colleges. He said the Mahatma fought against the communal forces all his life.