Andhra calls for national debate on simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies

The state also suggested that urban and rural local body polls should be conducted within a year of the Lok Sabha elections.
Andhra calls for national debate on simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies
Andhra calls for national debate on simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies
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Backing the idea of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday called for a national debate on the issue by involving all sections of people.

Moving one step ahead, the government suggested that polls to even urban and rural local bodies should be conducted within one year of the elections to the Lok Sabha and assemblies.

Addressing the joint session of the Andhra Pradesh legislative council and assembly on the opening day of the Budget session in Amaravati, Governor ESL Narasimhan said that in order to take a considered view on the issue, it was desirable to hold a national debate.

"My government is in full agreement with the view that elections to both the assemblies and the Lok Sabha be held simultaneously so that the governments at the Centre and in the states could pay undivided attention to issues of policy and governance during their tenures. We will go a step further and suggest that elections to urban and rural local bodies too should be held within one year of elections to the state and central legislative houses," the Governor said.

He said it would give governments time to address the issues of governance without distractions.

The Governor said, "Historically, elections to the assemblies and the Lok Sabha were held together but over the years, for varied reasons, they were de-coupled. Now, the situation has come to a stage that we conduct elections in significantly large parts of the country almost every year, if not throughout the year. Political parties, and therefore governments, continually have to keep an eye on electoral calculations. This is bound to take its toll on governance, policy-making and administration."

Meanwhile, history was made in this new Andhra Pradesh capital on Monday with the beginning of first session of the state assembly and state council.

The new building was abuzz with activity and festive atmosphere prevailed as members of both the houses arrived to attend the first day of the budget session.

Members of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and its alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and lone opposition YSR Congress Party were witness to the moment.

The state government, which shifted the administration from Hyderabad to Amaravati last year, completed the legislature building in a record time.

The Governor, in his address, said that the golden moment would be etched for forever in the state's history.

Narasimhan said undaunted by the challenges post bifurcation, the government converted every crisis into an opportunity.

He claimed that the state was marching ahead the path of all-round development despite the challenges including budgetary constraints, infrastructure deficiencies and unresolved issues arising from State Reorganization Act.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that holding the legislature session on "our soil" is a historic moment.

He said though the state had 10 years to run the administration from Hyderabad, his government got it shifted in two-and-half years. He claimed that within a short period, it emerged as one of the front ranking states in the country.

Meanwhile, the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the legislature decided to conduct the session for 14 days.

The general and agriculture budgets for 2017-18 will be presented on March 13.

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