The YSR Congress Party on Tuesday supported Centre’s proposal to conduct simultaneous elections, becoming the fifth party in the country to do so.
In an 8-page letter submitted to the Law Commission, the YSRCP said that the party decided to support simultaneous elections after studying the advantages and disadvantages of simultaneous elections.
The idea to conduct simultaneous elections has been proposed by the government as part of its ‘One Nation One Election’ concept. Subsequently, the Law Commission sent an invite to seven national and 59 regional parties for their consultation and opinions.
The YSRCP has stated that simultaneous elections will reduce the expenditure incurred by the Election Commission but, at the same time, pointed out that there is no guarantee that the overall expenditure of political parties will come down.
“Political parties may spend entire fund at once rather than in phases,” the party said.
However, the party has backed simultaneous elections, thereby joining All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Samajwadi Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal in supporting Centre’s proposal.
“The YSRCP is in favour of simultaneous elections as there have been simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Andhra Pradesh State Assembly from 1951 to 1967 and 1999 to 2014. Now as per the existing position, we are likely to have simultaneous elections for LS and AP Assembly. YSRCP supports the move and efforts in this regard by the Law Commission of India,” the party wrote.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi party had two days ago agreed to back simultaneous elections. TRS chief and Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrasekhar Rao in a letter to the Law Commission said that separate elections were hampering development work and that public money is wasted twice for the purpose.
In his letter, Rao wrote, “We all know that 4-6 months of time is being spent on conducting election each in time in the Lok Sabha and the State legislature. The entire state and district level administration and security machinery are very busy with the conduct of elections twice in a period of five years.”
“Likewise imposition of model code of conduct for such a long period is also hampering development and welfare activities undertaken by the state government,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, the ruling Telugu Desam Party has opposed simultaneous polls and stated that it would weaken regional leaders.
The present stance of the party contradicts its earlier views, where it had supported simultaneous elections and even suggested that urban and rural body elections should be held within a year of conducting LS and Assembly elections.
This was when the TDP was part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).