The Election Commission of India has confirmed that by the end of 2018, it will be ready to hold Parliament and Assembly elections simultaneously. The Centre had earlier sought ECI’s views on conducting simultaneous polls.
The Election Commissioner of India, Om Prakash Rawat said that the ECI had told the government about lack of equipment and requirement of funds to conduct simultaneous polls, and it has been made available.
The ECI has placed the order for machinery, he said adding that, the procurement will be completed by September 2018. After this the ECI can hold concurrent Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
He said while Rs 3,400 crore has been granted for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, Rs 12,000 crore given for Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The total 40 lakh machines will be available for holding concurrent polls.
Polls to assemblies in seven states are due to be held in 2018 including Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram; Nagaland, and, Tripura.