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Lok Sabha and Assembly polls can’t go simultaneously: Chief Election Commissioner

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On Thursday, Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat eliminated the possibility of having the state assemblies and Lok Sabha polls simultaneously. Rawat also added that for holding simultaneous polls a legal framework is needed to be in place.

Our sources have reported that when Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat was asked whether it was feasible to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections in the near future by a select media meet in Aurangabad, he answered: “Koi chance Nahi” (no chance at all).

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In recent weeks, there were some talkings and guesswork regarding the delay in Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Mizoram which are due at the end of the year. These Assembly polls were supposed to be held simultaneously along with the Lok Sabha elections that are scheduled for April-May 2019.

Our sources reported that term of the Mizoram Assembly will come to an end on December 15 while the terms of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan assemblies will end on January 5, January 7 and January 20, 2019, respectively.

“The lawmakers will take at least a year to frame a law that can be enforceable. This process takes time. As soon as the Bill to amend the Constitution is ready, we (the Election Commission) will know that things are now moving). The Commission has a staff strength of just 400 but deploys 1.11 crore people on poll duty during elections,” Rawat said.

Rawat also answered to some of the queries that were related to the “failure” of the Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs). On this Rawat said that still the understanding of the EVM system in many quarters in India, “isn’t comprehensive enough”.

“There is just a 0.5 to 0.6 percent rate of failure and such a rate of machine failure is acceptable, ” he said.

 

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