Former Union law minister M Veerappa Moily mocked the "One Nation, One Election" idea on Thursday, saying it was akin to fixing the human lifespan.
The senior Congress leader dismissed the BJP-led NDA government's push for simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies as a "mere slogan" and an "eyewash" aimed at diverting people's attention from "genuine problems" such as unemployment and agrarian distress.
He said state governments might fall during the term of the current Lok Sabha and wondered if those states would have to wait till the next parliamentary election if the practice of simultaneous polls came into being.
Seeking to draw an analogy, Moily said simultaneous elections were like fixing the lifespan of people.
"It is just like making a rule that everybody should live for 60 years. If people die earlier, what will happen then?," he asked.
Moily noted that the practice of simultaneous elections was introduced during the time of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India.
Subsequently, for various reasons, state governments had to go without completing their term, resulting in a different election schedule for those states and the Lok Sabha.
"But at this distance of time (after so many years of separate polls to state assemblies and the Lok Sabha), how do you level the ground?," the former Karnataka chief minister asked, adding, "Holding simultaneous elections is impractical now."
"It is a good platform (to promote the idea) for him (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). He has a knack for searching for national platforms, this (the idea) is one such national platform that he wants to create for himself artificially," Moily alleged, adding that the prime minister was "obsessed with national platforms like this".
A committee for giving "time-bound" suggestions on the issue of "One Nation, One Election" would be set up by the prime minister, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced on Wednesday after a meeting of the chiefs of various political parties in New Delhi.
In a bid to build a consensus on holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, Modi had convened the meeting of presidents of all political parties. Of the 40 political parties invited, 21 attended the meeting while three shared their views on the subject in writing.
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