Mamata attacks Modi, says hold simultaneous polls in BJP states

New Delhi, Feb 6  Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee on Tuesday dared the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to hold simultaneous elections in all BJP-ruled states, along with parliamentary polls, in line with the idea being pushed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Participating in a debate on the motion of thanks to the President's speech in the Lok Sabha, Banerjee said the idea was impractical and against the Constitution, and threw a challenge to the Prime Minister to hold elections in the BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, Assam and Uttar Pradesh, along with the Centre.

Banerjee also sought to know why Prime Minister Modi had been repeatedly talking about a subject that was under examination by a parliamentary committee, and also slammed the government for mentioning it in the President's address.

"Why is simultaneous election being thrust upon us when it is under examination of a standing committee? How come the PM is going every where talking about it?" he said.

In a bid to drive home his point, Banerjee presented a hypothetical situation where an alliance government falls apart a year after simultaneous polls.

"Suppose in 2019, all elections are held and the ruling party doesn't get a majority. If after a year, other parties withdraw support and the government falls, will there be election in all states?" he said.

The TMC MP said the move would "hurt the basic structure" of the Constitution.

"When standing committee is looking into the matter, one should refrain from commenting on it. How was it a part of the President's address?" he said.

"Let them hold election in all BJP-ruled states...let him (Modi) do it...let him show his spirit for holding elections simultaneously. Charity begins at home," he said.

Banerjee also stressed that tolerance was going down among the people, and gave the example of the protests against the movie "Padmaavat".

"We are losing tolerance...," he said, adding that all vandalism had taken place in the BJP-ruled states.