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Simultaneous polls will weaken regional parties: Minister Yanamala

Simultaneous polls will weaken regional parties: Minister Yanamala
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The AP state government has rejected the Centres proposal for going in for simultaneous elections for both Assembly and Lok Sabha, indicating that it...

Amaravati: The AP state government has rejected the Centre's proposal for going in for simultaneous elections for both Assembly and Lok Sabha, indicating that it would want more time to prepare people for the electoral battle that lay ahead.

Interestingly, it was the Telugu Desam Party which was the first party to support the idea of simultaneous elections as it would give a clear five years’ time for both the governments to concentrate on all-round development.

On more than one occasion in early part of last year, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had welcomed the move since it would not only cut the election expenditure, but also would help the state to think of nothing else except development. He wanted all elections, including those for civic bodies to be held in a span of six months.

But Naidu had welcomed the idea during the halcyon days when he was riding shotgun with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As a lot of water has flown Krishan since he stepped out of NDA in March this year, the TDP has sobered up and sees a conspiracy in the move for simultaneous polls.

Echoing the state government’s stand on simultaneous polls, Finance Minister Y Ramakrishnudu on Friday said that he smelt a rat in the eagerness with which the Centre was pushing simultaneous elections. "We will not go in for early elections for Assembly," he declared and said that the move was part of the Centre’s grand conspiracy to weaken the regional parties.

Ramakrishnudu, offering evidence to his argument, referred to how the Centre was treating the AIAMDK in Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi, Nitish Kumar in Bihar and the Telugu Desam Party in AP.

He however said that the Centre should keep in mind that this time around, no national party will be in a position to form the government at the Centre on its own and dependence on regional parties would be sine qua non.

The Finance Minister said that regional parties were opposed to simultaneous elections to save democracy and the spirit of cooperative federalism. Even as the move for simultaneous elections gained traction, the state can stave off the elections till six months before the actual term of the Assembly. If early elections had to be held, the state would have to consent to it. If the term of the Assembly is less than six months, which would be from middle of December this year, Election Commission could issue notification for elections.

Meanwhile, the state government wants to celebrate for six months Chandrababu Naidu's completion of 1,500 days in office by July 15. The celebrations would be in the form of sensitising people on the development works Naidu has taken up in his present tenure.

“We have implemented several welfare schemes for the last four years. Now we have to promote awareness among the people,” explained Naidu, while speaking to Districts Collectors, Heads of Departments and Secretaries over a teleconference earlier in the day.

He said that the officials should take it as a serious programme and should work in coordination with various departments. He said that the government will organize Grama Darsini (Village visit) programme for the next six months.

He informed that under this programme, the government will effectively publicise all the popular schemes and development activities. The Chief Minister said that he will review on the progress of the Grama Darsini programme once in every fortnight. He will fix a target for the following fortnight and the officials should reach the target. He said that officials should address the problems at all levels in the district.

To effectively address the cancer problems in the state, Naidu directed the Health and Medical department to prepare detailed proposal for establishment of a specialised Cancer Hospital for each district in the state.

He suggested construction of cancer hospitals in Public Private Partnership mode immediately. He also suggested that vision document be prepared so that they could explain to the people what the TDP government would do in the next five years.

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