The high-level committee formed to explore the feasibility of simultaneous polls panel has decided to invite the Law Commission and recognised national and state parties to seek views on the issue of synchronised elections.
Former President Ram Nath Kovind today chaired the first meeting of the high-level committee. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash C Kashyap, former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, and other committee members attended the meeting.
Congress's leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was also a member. However, in a letter to Shah, he declined to be part of the panel. "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," Chowdhury had said in the letter.
Preparation of working papers, how to go about holding consultations with the stakeholders and research on the subject for an in-depth discussion - were on the agenda for the introductory meeting today.
Releasing a statement at the end of the meeting, the committee said they decided to invite recognised national parties, parties having governments in states, those having their representatives in Parliament, other recognised state parties "for seeking suggestions/view points on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country".
In addition, the committee will also invite the Law Commission for its suggestions and view points on the issue of simultaneous elections, a law ministry statement said.
Noted lawyer Harish Salve joined the meeting virtually. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was not present in the meeting, the statement noted.