NEW DELHI, Aug 26 - Describing the debate on holding Lok Sabha and assembly polls together a healthy sign for democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it was an appropriate tribute to former premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee who changed the country�s political culture.
He said efforts were afoot and discussions being held about simultaneously holding Lok Sabha and assembly polls.
�The government and the opposition � both are putting forth their view points. This is a good development and a healthy sign for our democracy.
�I must say that developing healthy traditions for a sound democracy, making constant efforts to strengthen democracy, encouraging open-minded debates would also be an appropriate tribute to Atalji,� Modi said in his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address.
Political parties are divided on the issue of simultaneous polls.
BJP, its NDA partners Shiromani Akali Dal, AIADMK, Samajwadi Party and Telangana Rashtra Samiti have supported it.
The Congress, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, DMK, Telugu Desam Party, Left parties and the JD(S) have opposed the proposal.
The parties have given their response to the Law Commission, which is set to come out with a legal framework required to hold the mammoth exercise.
Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat had recently said there are no chances of holding the two polls together without a legal framework.
�The lawmakers will take at least a year to frame a law that can be enforceable...,� Rawat had said.
If simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies are held in 2019, the EC will require nearly 24 lakh EVMs, double the number required to hold only the Parliamentary polls.
During their discussion with the Law Commission on May 16 this year on the issue of holding simultaneous polls, EC officials had said they would need around Rs 4,500 crore to buy nearly 12 lakh additional electronic voting machines (EVMs) and an equal number voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines. � PTI