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Meeting of minds on simultaneous polls: PM, BJP CMs talk ways

| | New Delhi

Getting into poll mode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 13 BJP Chief Ministers and six Deputy CMs on Wednesday sought to explore possibilities of conducting simultaneous elections from “Panchayat to Parliament” by 2019 and also fast-track implementation of flagship programmes like health, housing, farmers’ income and total electrification across the country.

Held at the new BJP headquarters, the six-hour meeting deliberated on the welfare schemes of ‘Garib Awas’, ‘Gramin development’, increasing farmers’ income by at least one and half times and electrification of every household.

The Prime Minister asked the Chief Ministers to fix time for their implementation.

All these schemes are directly monitored by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The BJP leaders, including the Prime Minister, party chief Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and external Affairs Minister Sushwa Swaraj attended the high-profile deliberations as important States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh are set to go to polls by the year-end.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh who spoke to newspersons as the discussion progressed, said the leaders scrutinised possibilities of having a simultaneous elections for the Centre, States, Nagar Palikas, corporations and Panchayats. He said frequent elections in the country invite imposition of Moral code of conduct that impedes development works in the country and polls happen throughout the year without a break. 

“How Centre and State could coordinate to see possibility for one poll in 2019 from Panchayat to Parliament?” he said. More importantly, the Chief Minister said the meeting agreed that ‘janjagriti’ (public awareness) need to be created in the country on one-nation-one-poll. 

The meeting was a sequel to the earlier two BJP CMs concave in August 21 and September 25. Singh added the meeting discussed roles different State are to play in NaMocare healthcare schemes where ten core families are to come under health insurance. “Different States implement schemes differently in terms of various diseases like cancer or heart ailments,” Singh said, adding it will involve putting logistic on the ground together such as identification of hospitals etc.

As for housing schemes, he said it is targeted that by 2022 every family will have a roof over it. The discussion veered around as how States are to achieve their respective housing target by 2019 and thereafter 2022.

Similarly, towards the electrification of all households and supply of 24x7 power supply as envisaged by the Prime Minister, time and targets have been fixed. The meeting also discussed ways to give farmers more than one-and-half-times minimum support price for their produce and sought States to put a system in place from Mandi-level and above to fulfill the Promise of the Modi-Government .

The Chief Minister referred to Prime Minister’s special focus on District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for the development of the tribal areas. He said Prime Minister has released Rs 600 crore DMF fund for the tribal areas of Dantewade and Sukma in Chhattisgarh. He said each State would get back the entire DMF money for the development of tribal regions.

DMF is a trust set up as a non-profit body, in those districts affected by the mining works, to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations. It is funded through the contributions from miners.



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