Early polls left to parties: Prez

With Parliament’s Monsoon Session completely washed out, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday refused to rule out the possibility of an early general election. Speaking to the media while visiting the Tirumala temple for Lord Venkateswara’s darshan on Sunday, President Mukherjee said the “behaviour” of political parties and leaders will determine if there is an early election.

Speculation is rife in New Delhi that if the coming Winter Session too ends in disruption, the government might well advance the general election due in 2014. “It is not a question of what I foresee This is a question of how leaders will behave, members will behave and parties will behave,” he said.

On senior BJP leader L.K. Advani’s suggestion that simultaneous polls be held for Parliament and the state Assemblies, Mr Mukherjee said: “It is for political parties to consider (as) different parties are running governments in different states.” He also ruled out use of Article 356 (President’s rule) in states. “How elections take place depends on various factors,” he said, adding “if there is to be a change in the method of elections, there has to be a constitutional amendment, and that is not possible by one party.”

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