PM meets presidents of political parties, NPP chief welcomes ‘one country, one election’

Shillong Jun 19: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of presidents of all political parties having representation in Parliament on Wednesday and discussed a number of issues including ‘One Country, One Election.’

Presidents of 21 political parties attended the meeting include Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K. Sangma who is also the national president of the NPP.

Issues that came up for discussion include ways to improve productivity of Parliament, one country, one election, building a New India in the 75th year of Independence, and commitments to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, and development of aspirational districts.

Union Minister for Defence, Rajnath Singh conducted the meeting.

Various party presidents noted with concern the frequent adjournments and disruptions of Parliament and observed that such situation impacted productivity and denied the MPs the opportunity to express their views on issues of the day.

The meeting emphasized that an atmosphere of discussion and dialogue must prevail in Parliament. Participants in the meeting also expressed the hope that approximately half of the members of the 17th Lok Sabha, are first time MPs, who would take this opportunity to carry forward the spirit of constructive dialogue in the House.

On the issue of One Country, One Election, several party presidents supported the proposal for simultaneous conduct of elections.

Several parties were also of the view that all aspects of this proposal need to be examined carefully.

The Prime Minister noted that this was not a single party’s agenda, but an issue of national importance and views of all parties would be considered and given due importance.

The Prime Minister announced that a committee will be formed to examine the issue of ‘One Country, One Election’, and come up with suggestions in a time-bound manner.

Several parties strongly expressed the view that the new generation must be made aware of the ideals and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, and the 150thbirth anniversary of the Mahatma, is an apt occasion to do so.

Parties were also of the view that we can take some firm resolves for the development of the country, on this occasion, and aim to accomplish these goals by 2022, the 75thanniversary of independence.

On the issue of development of aspirational districts, all parties had a constructive view and gave a number of suggestions.

Modi said that all State governments must work in coordination with the Centre to bring the most backward districts in their States at par with the best performing districts and the goal of a ‘New India’ would be achieved by 2022.

The Prime Minister thanked the party presidents for their participation and constructive suggestions. He said that the next few years represent a historic opportunity, to take the country forward on the path of progress and prosperity.

Meanwhile Conrad said that the idea of ‘one country one election’ is good for the nation as it saved expenditure. He however suggested that consultations must take place with all stakeholders and then take a collective decision.

On parliament’s productivity, the Meghalaya chief minister said that the Meghalaya Assembly has been witnessing healthy debates and the House did not face a situation that disrupted proceedings of the state Assembly.

“Though we have arguments inside the House on certain issues, but they were all very productive. From that angle, Meghalaya can be an example to the rest of the country,” Conrad said.

He also suggested each MP should get an office along with supporting staff so that MPs can also work efficiently in developing their respective constituencies and state.

He also said that the capacity and performance of MPs can be judged from the way they took part in debates in the House.