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Maha budget to signal BJP's move on simultaneous polls: Cong


Press Trust of India Mumbai
The upcoming budget of Maharashtra will indicate whether the ruling BJP wants to hold the state assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha elections, a senior Congress leader has said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP have been pressing for holding simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies to help save time and the country's resources.

Several opposition parties are against the idea saying holding the polls simultaneously was not realistic in the present situation.

Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, today said the Congress would closely monitor the state budget, to be presented next week, to ascertain the BJP's intentions about simultaneous polls.

"This (Maharashtra) budget will indicate the intentions of the BJP on whether the general and the assembly polls will be held jointly or separately. We are closely watching what's going to be in the budget," he told PTI.

Another Congress leader said if the state budget offers a lot of sops and concessions, it would naturally mean that the BJP is keen on contesting the elections to the Maharashtra assembly along with the Lok Sabha polls.

A leader of the opposition NCP said technically, the Lok Sabha and the assembly polls can be advanced or postponed by six months.

"The BJP is trying to use it to hold the Maharashtra elections along with the general polls to gain maximum out of it," he claimed.

If voters have a soft corner for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, a similar sentiment can be helpful in the assembly polls as well, if both are held together, he noted.

The BJP may be pointing at the expenses and waste of time in holding separate elections, but in reality, it is a political decision, the NCP leader added.

The country's general elections are due in the first half of 2019, while the term of the present Maharashtra assembly will end in the second half of next year.

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha and 288 assembly seats.

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First Published: Feb 26 2018 | 2:05 PM IST

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