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Naveen Patnaik backs 'one nation, one election' idea

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday extended full support to the idea of 'one nation, one election', saying frequent polls affect the pace of development and also "rock the spirit of cooperative federalism".

At an all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, Patnaik, who is also the BJD president, strongly advocated a re-look into the Land Acquisition Act and the Forest Conservation Act.

The prime minister Wednesday met leaders of various political parties having representation in Parliament to explore possibilities of holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections together amid no show by various opposition parties.

"Frequent elections affect the pace of development and also rock the spirit of cooperative federalism. The BJD will fully support the idea of 'one nation, one election'," Patnaik said, adding there has to be a "give and take" attitude in the larger interest of the country.

According to a BJD communique issued here, the Odisha chief minister, who has been demanding special category status for the state, demanded that natural disaster may be considered a criterion for special focus on states.

Noting that no country has ever progressed without empowering half of its population, Patnaik said, "The BJD will extend complete support to Women's Reservation both in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections."

On development of 'aspirational districts', he said the Centre should focus on macro issues like tele-density, banking network and railway reach.

"Micro issues may be left to the state to focus on with support from the Centre," Patnaik said.

Asserting that land acquisition laws should facilitate society's welfare and the country's growth, the Odisha chief minister said, "We have to have a relook at the 2013 Act, especially from the point of view of railway and road infrastructure development."

He also opined that there is a need to relook into the Forest Conservation Act as environment protection and economic growth has to complement each other.

Central and state public sector undertakings should be treated on an equal footing for statutory requirements.

On the Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary celebration, Patnaik said he had earlier suggested the country to consider including the uniquely Indian idea of 'non-violence' or 'ahimsa', in the preamble of India's Constitution.

"This will ensure that future generations, not just of Indians but people around the world will be reminded of the profound truth of this (Ahimsa) principle," he said.

Patnaik said his party, has always been supportive to any action taken in the interest of the country and its people, and will continue to do so in the future.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 19 2019. 19:40 IST