Amid speculation that the BJP is discussing the possibility of deferring state elections due this year end and holding them along with general elections in early 2019, the Congress on Tuesday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dissolve Lok Sabha now and hold general elections along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly polls.
The Congress said postponing elections to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh requires an amendment to the Constitution and made it clear that it would approach the court if elections to these states are postponed.
The BJP is said to be discussing the possibility of postponing Assembly elections, due later this year, and advancing those slated in the second half of 2019 and holding all of them along with Lok Sabha polls. When asked about this, AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot said, “That is not possible without a Constitutional amendment… there is only one way of holding elections together. The PM should dissolve the Lok Sabha and advance the polls.”
AICC legal department chairman Vivek Tankha said the Congress was confident of winning in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and “if there is any attempt to postpone election in these states, of course, we will go to the court”.
Gehlot said the Congress was prepared if the Lok Sabha elections were advanced and held along with Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh polls. He said it would be in the “best interest of the country to dissolve the Lok Sabha early, given the all-pervasive atmosphere of fear, intolerance and intimidation”. The Congress, he said, will not only welcome an early Lok Sabha election, “we are all geared to fight the BJP and finish it,” he said.
The Congress has also approached the Election Commission asking it to take steps to “sanitise” the draft electoral roll published for Rajasthan, claiming it had a large number of probable duplicate entries.