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Chief Election Commissioner: It is impossible to hold simultaneous polls without legal framework

August 14,2018:

On Tuesday, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat stated that simultaneous Elections are not possible without a legal framework as any extension or curtailment of the term of assemblies will require a constitutional amendment.

CEC Rawat’s statement comes a day after BJP made a fresh push to hold Lok Sabha and assembly polls together.

Pointing at need for a legal framework, he virtually ruled out holding simultaneous polls any time soon.

OP Rawat further added that,“If the term of some state assemblies needs to be curtailed or extended, then a constitutional amendment will be required… Logistics arrangements with regard to 100 per cent availability of VVPATs (paper trail machines) will be a constraint”.

CEC stated that the poll panel would continue to deliver its responsibility of conducting elections whenever term of the state assemblies come to an end.

EC is in the process of procuring new EVMs and VVPATs ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

While all required EVMs 13.95 lakh ballot units and 9.3 lakh control units will be delivered by September 30, 16.15lakh VVPATs will also be delivered well before the end of November, Rawat had earlier said.

Some additional VVPATs are being procured as a cushion in case these machines malfunction and need to be replaced during polls.

Over 11 per cent of the 10,300 VVPAT machines across 10 states had developed faults and had to be replaced during the May 28 bypolls.

If simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies are held in 2019, the EC will require nearly 24 lakh EVMs, double the number required to hold only the Parliamentary polls.

Source HT

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