BJP ally JD-U favours simultaneous Lok Sabha, assembly polls
Patna, Jan 17 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U) on Wednesday said the party is in favour of holding simultaneous elections to parliament and state assemblies in 2019.
JD-U state President Bashistha Narain Singh said his party was ready for mid-term assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
"Our party has been a supporter of holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha and we are ready for it," Singh told the media here.
The JD-U's remarks come at a time when speculations are rife that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may go for early Lok Sabha polls along with assembly elections in 20 states.
After the JD-U joined hands with the BJP and formed the government in Bihar last year, Singh had said the party was ready for mid-term assembly polls along with parliamentary elections.
Later, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also supported Modi's stand on simultaneous polls.
"I favour and support in principle a synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the country," Nitish Kumar had said.
Going a step further, he said that elections to Panchayats and urban local bodies should also be conducted along with the two-phase polls. "It will save unnecessary expenditure."
Singh, considered close to Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD-U president, said his party had no problems if the Election Commission also held Bihar Assembly polls in 2019.
"We are in favour of simultaneous elections to Bihar Assembly and Lok Sabha," Singh said.
Next assembly polls in Bihar are due in 2020.
Last assembly elections in the state were held in 2015 when the Grand Alliance of the JD-U, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress defeated the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
A Grand Alliance government led by Nitish Kumar was formed then.
However, in July 2017, Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance to form a government with the BJP.