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20th August - The Hindu Editorial - Part-1(in Hindi)
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Subhodeep Das
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  4. Reality check: On simultaneous polls Achronicle ofcollaboraton Simultaneous polls pose too big a legal and logistical challenge to be implemented now S. UBHODEEP

  5. Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat's view that it is not possible to hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies soon is a realistic assessment of the humongous task. Mr. Rawat has, in particular, ruled out the possibility of holding elections to the Lok Sabha this December along with polls to the Assemblies of four States In addition to the basic requirement of a legal framework under which the extension or curtailment of the term of any Assembly is constitutionally permissible, simultaneous elections would demand a massive increase in the number of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units. UBHODEEP

  6. Mr. Rawat has pointed out that altering the term of an Assembly needs an amendment to the Constitution. Moreover, ensuring the availability of VVPATs everywhere poses a logistical challenge Simultaneous elections will require the use of 24 lakh EVMs, needing the procurement of 12 lakh EVMs and an equal number of VVPAT units, according to its estimate. Wide political consensus, as well as legislative cooperation from various parties at the Centre and in the States, is required for holding simultaneous elections S. UBHODEEP

  7. It is natural that parties that control legislatures constituted in recent months or years would resist any curtailment of their tenures, while those in the Opposition may prefer simultaneous polls if it means Assembly elections being advanced. Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah has written to the Law Commission favouring simultaneous polls, giving a fillip to the idea. The crux of the argument in favour of the concept is that the country is perpetuallv in election mode, resulting in a lack of adequate focus on governance The second contention is that scattered polling results in extra expenditure. UBHODEEP

  8. The question before India is, in order to address these two issues, can legislature terms be curtailed without undermining representative democracy and federalism? Given the procedural and logistical challenges that holding of simultaneous elections pose, it would be far more productive for political parties to focus on basic electoral reforms and find ways to curb excessive election expenditure on basic electoral refors a UBHODEEP

  9. A long campaign: On Indonesia Presidential elections Philippines A chronicle of collaboration alays Indonesia Papa akarta Singapore /(TimorLeste - Australia

  10. Always a peacemaker Always a peacemaker A chronicle of collaboration As Foreign Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister, Vajpayee tried to repair tie:s with Pakistan. S. UBHODEEP

  11. Master stroke for both the then Prime Minister, PV. Narasimha Rao, and the then Leader of the Opposition, Vajpayee, when in the 1990s Indian delegation to the UN Human Right Commission meeting in Geneva, which was then discussing issues related to India and Pakistan By this single act alone, they both showed to Pakistan and the rest of the international community that India spoke in one voice on its relations with Pakistan Years later, as Prime Minister, Vajpayee made two visits to Pakistan. Visit by bus to Lahore on February 19, 1999 was overshadowed by the Kargil attack a few months later. However, had a positive impact on public opinion in both countries at that time. S. UBHODEEP

  12. His entire emphasis was that we should work towards making Pakistan realise that it needs to cease help to terrorists so that discussions on bilateral relations could move ahead. UBHODEEP