rime Minister Narendra Modi is holding an all-party meeting in New Delhi to discuss simultaneous elections in the country. Several Opposition leaders, however, have decided to skip this meeting.
The meeting started around 3 pm at the Parliament and Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Thawarchand Gehlot, Narendra Singh Tomar were in attendance. Ashish Patel of Apna Dal, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Badal, Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti, CPI’s D Raja, Sudhakar Reddy and Sitaram Yechury also arrived for the meeting. PM Narendra Modi called this all-party meet to discuss one of BJP’s poll promises, ‘One Nation, One Poll’.
Many leaders of key opposition parties decided not to attend the meeting. The list of leaders not attending the meeting includes West Bengal CM and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Congress will also not attend the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it is opposed to the idea of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections. The decision was taken at a meeting of the party’s top leaders in the Parliament on Wednesday morning.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is currently under constant attack over encephalitis outbreak in his state is also in New Delhi to represent Janata Dal (United) in the meeting.
Hours before the meeting, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati tweeted saying she would have attended the all-party meeting if it was on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and described the idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls as a ploy to divert attention from issues like poverty.
“Elections in any democracy can never be a problem, nor the elections should be weighed from the point of view of expenditure and extravagance. The ‘One Nation, One Poll’ is, in fact, an attempt to divert the attention from burning national issues such as poverty, inflation, unemployment and increase in violence and is simply an illusion,” Mayawati tweeted.