Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declines to join ‘One Country, One Election’ committee

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

New Delhi: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is also the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, has rejected the invitation to join the high-level committee formed by the Center to study the feasibility of holding simultaneous elections in the country. He wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday, saying that he is not interested in being part of a committee whose terms of reference are predetermined and biased. He said that this was a complete sham and questioned the timing and motive of the government for pushing this idea just months before the general elections.

He also expressed his displeasure over the exclusion of Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, from the committee. He said that this is a deliberate insult to the parliamentary democracy and its institutions. He said that he had no option but to decline the offer.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

The government had notified an eight-member high-level committee on Saturday to examine the issue of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state assemblies, municipalities, and panchayats and make suggestions at the earliest. The committee will be headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind and will include Home Minister Amit Shah, Chowdhury, former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and former Finance Commission chairman NK Singh as members, according to the notification.’