Kolkata : Amid reports of the possibility of preponing the Lok Sabha elections, Chief Election Commissioner of India Om Prakash Rawat on Saturday said the commission would abide by the law and can issue a notification for election to any house “not before six months” of the expiry of that house.
“Law says the Election Commission can issue notification for election to any house not before six months before the expiry of that house. That is the legal binding on the Election Commission,” he said at an interactive session organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce (MCC).
Rawat also said the Commission is the authority to decide the schedule for elections.
When asked whether the Commission has received any suggestion regarding preponing of the 2019 General Election, he said: “Absolutely not. The Election Commission will go by the law. I have explained the law… If the law requires that within six months you have to hold elections, you have to hold.
“Responding to a query on the idea of simultaneous elections. The Election Commission was asked about this idea in 2015. The commission gave all the suggestions to the government. It requires changes in constitution and also changes in law. Logistic support will also be required. We gave suggestion to the government. After that, we are not aware (of it). Recently, law commission met the Election Commission.”
Ruling out any possibility of bringing back ballot papers for elections, he said, since July 2017, the commission conveyed in an all party meeting that all elections henceforth would be conducted with EVMs coupled with VVPATs.
“There is absolutely nothing about the integrity of the system… However, time and again there are eruptions on this, we clarify the issue,” he said.
Speaking on electoral bonds, he said the Commission is gathering facts and information to crystallise its view on this.
“As soon as we complete this, we will be communicating to government and will put its views on public domain,” Rawat added.