Mumbai: Hours after former president Ram Nath Kovind was on Friday tasked with the responsibility of heading a committee to explore the feasibility of “one nation, one election”, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, called the move a “conspiracy to postpone polls” in the country.
His MVA colleague and Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra assembly Vijay Wadettiwar said the unveiling of the logo of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) won’t happen during the ongoing meeting of the grouping.
Talking to reporters here, Raut said, “We need fair elections which are not happening now. The ‘one nation, one election’ proposal is a conspiracy to postpone elections.” Raut said the BJP government did not respect Ramnath Kovind when he was the president. “Now they are making him busy with a committee to explore the possibility of ‘one nation, one election’,” he said.
The Rajya Sabha MP also questioned the need for a special session of Parliament, scheduled to be held from September 18 to 22, during the Ganpati festival.
“When regular sessions are on, the prime minister never attends the proceedings,” he claimed.
Raut alleged that the BJP-led Centre’s “moves” were attempts to divert attention from the meeting of the INDIA alliance currently underway in Mumbai.
He said the opposition bloc’s meeting is aimed at including all allies and working towards consensus on all issues. “A chief coordination committee, research committee, campaign and agenda committee and manifesto committee are likely to shape up,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wadettiwar said the unveiling of the logo of the INDIA bloc will be postponed. The discussion will be about setting up various coordination committees, he said.
The Congress leader claimed that the ‘one nation, one election’ move happened because of the INDIA alliance meeting.
The third meeting of the INDIA alliance is underway at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here. As many as 63 representatives from 28 political parties are taking part in the meeting.
Earlier in the day, all the participants got together for a group photo before starting their formal discussion.
On Friday morning, BJP chief J P Nadda met ex-president Kovind soon after the latter was tasked with the responsibility of heading a committee to explore the feasibility of “one nation, one election”, which was the case till 1967.
Since coming to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a strong votary for the idea of simultaneous polls, which include those at local bodies, citing the financial burden caused by the almost continuous election cycle and jolt to development work during the polling period.