BJP’s ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee Signals Worry Over 2024 Elections: Ashok Gehlot
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Friday said the BJP-led Centre’s move to form a committee to explore the possibility of ‘one nation, one election’ indicated that the ruling party has sensed it would be trounced by the INDIA alliance in the general elections.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is so worried due to the INDIA alliance that he and the Central government have sensed they are not going to win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the BJP’s defeat is also certain in the states where assembly elections are going to be held this year,” said Gehlot. “The move (of forming the committee) was, therefore, taken deliberately to give a message to the people,” he added.
Gehlot said that holding the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections simultaneously has been a matter of discussion in the country in the past as well. “Discussion (on simultaneous polls) has been held earlier too, this is not a new thing. Till 1967, the elections used to be conducted together. Holding the elections together is a matter of debate in the country, but what games they play will be known later,” he told reporters in Bhilwara.
Committee Led by Ram Nath Kovind
Former president Ram Nath Kovind was on Friday tasked by the Centre with the responsibility of heading a committee to explore how the country could go back to having simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly polls, as was the case till 1967.
ED Raids in Rajasthan
Commenting on the raids conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Rajasthan, Gehlot said such an action was expected ahead of the assembly elections. “I support if the ED, Income Tax and CBI take action against the corrupt. We will welcome this, but if targeted action due to pressure from the top is taken, this is not good,” he said.
The ED on Friday conducted multi-city searches in Rajasthan as part of a money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Centre’s ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ in the Congress-ruled state, official sources said.
Several premises belonging to the engineers, contractors and some former state government officials in Jaipur, Alwar and a few other cities are being searched, they said. The searches are being conducted under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Some documents and gadgets have been recovered till now, the sources said.
Allegations and Scandal
The money laundering case is understood to have stemmed from a Rajasthan Police FIR. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena had in June alleged a scam of Rs 20,000 crore in the implementation of the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ in Rajasthan. He had alleged that tenders worth Rs 900 crore were issued to two firms based on fake experience certificates in 48 projects of the scheme. “A scam of Rs 20,000 crore was committed under the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission… This was done together by the PHED minister and the department secretary,” Meena had alleged.
(This story has not been edited by Smartkhabrinews staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)