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Former president Ram Nath Kovind, who heads the committee to explore the possibility of ‘one nation, one election’, has said that holding simultaneous polls will benefit the public and the government at the Centre, be it the BJP or the Congress or any other party.

Addressing reporters in Rae Bareli on Monday night, Kovind said, “If implemented, the party which is in power at the Centre will benefit, be it the BJP or the Congress or any other party. There is no discrimination.”

He said that the biggest beneficiaries will be the common people as the revenue saved will be utilised for development works.

“Holding simultaneous elections will be beneficial for the public as the revenue saved will be used for development work. I am requesting all the political parties to cooperate as this is in the national interest. No political party has got anything to do with it,” said the former president.

The Kovind-headed high-level eight-member committee was constituted by the government earlier this year.

Kovind said that many committees such as the parliamentary committee, Niti Aayog, Election Commission of India, and others have said that the tradition of ‘one nation one election’ needs to be revived in the country.

“The government has constituted a committee for the purpose and made me its chairman. We are working with the people and will give suggestions to the government as to how we can implement this tradition again,” he added.

He said he has contacted all registered national parties and sought their suggestions.

“At some point in time, all of them supported it. We request all the political parties to cooperate as this is in the national interest,” he added.

In the first meeting of the committee in September, the panel outlined the modalities of the committee and decided to invite recognised national parties, parties having government in states, parties having their representatives in Parliament, and other recognised state parties to seek their suggestions/viewpoints on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country.

In addition, it said the Committee will also invite the Law Commission of India to make their suggestions/viewpoints on the issue.

Over the years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed strongly for the idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly polls, and the decision to task Kovind to look into it underscores the government’s seriousness as a host of elections approach.

With inputs from agencies

Abdul Gh Lone