Ready to hold central and state elections in September 2018: EC

The Election Commission is well equipped to hold elections to both state assemblies and the Parliament if the government opts for simultaneous elections in September 2018, reports quoting central election commissioner O P Rawat said.

Rawat said the Election Commission of India is logistically capable to conduct elections to state assemblies and the Lok Sabha together by September 2018.

''After purchase of new machines we would be logistically ready by Sept 2018 to hold parliamentary and assembly polls together,'' said Rawat.

''However it is up to the government to take a decision and make required legal amendments, and all parties to be on board,'' he added.

The centre has been mulling over aligning the upcoming state elections, scheduled to be held in November-December 2018, with the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 and if the government decides so India could witness national and state elections being held simultaneously in 2018.

If the government decides to align both elections, either the assembly elections will have to be postponed or the general elections will have to be preponed.

If held in September 2018, both the upcoming state elections scheduled to be held in November-December 2018 and the Lok Sabha elections 2019 will have to be preponed.

The government, however, is exploring possibilities of conducting the elections over a period of time, and not in one go, so as not to disturb the governance at states level.

Holding elections to both Parliament and state assemblies cold help save in expenditure and reduce financial burden on the government and political parties.