Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Saturday called the BJP's demand for simultaneous elections a "ploy" to fight the "anti-incumbency" against the "Modi mascot".
"This is a ploy by the BJP.... By clubbing the state elections with Lok Sabha elections they think that the Modi mascot can beat the anti-incumbency," the CPI-M General Secretary told media here.
Yechury said as long as there is a provision for imposition of President's rule in the state (under Article 356), by suspending its government, simultaneous elections cannot happen.
"This in our constitutional order is not possible... Simultaneous elections were the order of the day when the elections began in independent India in 1952... We had simultaneous elections in 1952 and 1957. Now why did that break? Because first the communist government of Kerala was dismissed invoking or misusing of Article 356.
"So, if you have a provision of dismissing an elected government and that provision is exercised... As long as Article 356 exists simultaneous polls cannot happen. Government is silent on what they would do with that," he said.
The former Rajya Sabha member also cited the situation of a government being reduced to minority status in the House after losing support of its partners, making re-election necessary, as another factor which contributes to the impracticality of concurrent elections.
"This (simultaneous polls) is patently anti-democratic," he said.