'Total eyewash': Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declines to be part of panel on simultaneous polls

10:41 AM Sep 03, 2023 | PTI |

New Delhi: Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday declined to be a part of the high-level committee announced by the Centre to examine the possibility of simultaneous elections in the country.


In a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Chowdhury said he has come to know that he has been appointed a member of the high-level committee on simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas.

“I have no hesitation whatsoever in declining to serve on the Committee whose terms of reference have been prepared in a manner to guarantee its conclusions. It is, I am afraid, a total eyewash,” he said in his letter.

“Moreover, the sudden attempt to thrust a constitutionally suspect, pragmatically non-feasible and logistically unimplementable idea on the nation, months before the general elections, raises serious concerns about ulterior motives of the government,” he said.

The Congress leader also lamented the exclusion of current Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge from the committee.


“This is a deliberate insult to the system of Parliamentary democracy.

“In these circumstances, I have no option but to decline your invitation,” said Chowdhury, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.

Earlier on Saturday, the government notified the eight-member committee to examine and make recommendations at the earliest on the issue of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state assemblies, municipalities and panchayats.

The committee, which will be headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind, will have Home Minister Shah, Chowdhury, former leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and former Finance Commission chairman N K Singh as members, according to an official notification.


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