Politics

Ready to face polls anytime: Cong

Ready to face polls anytime: Cong

New Delhi: The Congress today said it was ready to face elections any time and claimed that the people of the country were waiting to give a “befitting reply” to the central government.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said people were seeking answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on when they would get to see the government’s promised “achhe din” or good days.

“The Election Commission must have been sounded out by the current BJP government that they were going to prepone the parliamentary elections,” he told reporters.

“The Congress has no such knowledge. However, we are prepared to face elections at any time, for people of this country are fed up with the prime minister and his ‘jumlas’ (rhetoric) and the way his government is going about decimating jobs, businesses as also trade and agriculture in this country,” Surjewala alleged.

When asked about the EC’s take on simultaneous elections, the Congress leader said the Election Commission had a constitutional obligation to conduct free and fair polls and be ready to conduct them with appropriate notice from the government.

“I think people of this country will give a befitting reply, just like they gave in 2004 during ‘India Shining’ to the Vajpayee government, if elections are preponed. People are waiting for elections to happen so that they can actually ask Modi Ji, where are the ‘achhe din’,” he claimed.

Election Commissioner O P Rawat had yesterday said in Bhopal that the poll body aimed at efficient conduct of elections and would be “logistically equipped” by September 2018 to hold simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and assemblies.

The announcement by the poll panel came days after it issued a formal direction that VVPAT or paper trail machines would be used at polling stations in the future where elections are held using EVMs.

“The Election Commission was asked by the Centre what it would require for becoming capable of holding the parliamentary and assembly polls together,” Rawat had said.

“In response, the EC had asked for funds to purchase new EVMs and VVPAT machines. The commission would be logistically equipped by September, 2018 to hold parliamentary and assembly polls together,” he had said.

Some former election commissioners have said the Election Commission was capable of holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies but the government needed to put in place sound legal provisions to carry out the exercise.

The prime minister and the BJP had been pressing for simultaneous elections to help save time and the country’s resources.

—PTI