New Delhi: Former president and head of the high-level committee on 'one nation, one election' Ram Nath Kovind has started holding deliberations with former chief election commissioners and retired judges on the issue of holding simultaneous polls.
This comes days after the panel sought the views of the public on the issue.
On Wednesday, Kovind met former Madras High Court chief justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari.
"Continuing with the deliberations this afternoon, the chairman of the HLC held discussions with Justice Gorla Rohini, former chief justice of the Delhi High Court, and former CEC Sushil Chandra," an official statement said on Thursday.
Law Secretary Niten Chandra, who is also secretary to the high-level committee, was also present when Chandra and Justice Rohini met Kovind together.
The consultation process will continue in the coming days, the statement noted.
Sources said Chandra supported the idea of holding simultaneous polls, saying it will help improve governance as governments will get more time to formulate and implement policies.
He is also learnt to have said that simultaneous polls will reduce inconvenience to the public, improve utilisation of human resources and bring down expenditure on holding repeated polls.
The committee has already sought suggestions and considered views of the general public and political parties on the issue.
Eminent jurists, including former chief justices of the Supreme Court and high courts, constitutional experts and former CECs, among others, have also been approached for their views.
The committee has so far held two meetings since it was constituted in September last year. It had recently written to political parties seeking their views and an interaction on a "mutually agreed date" on the idea of holding simultaneous polls. It had later sent a reminder to the parties.
Letters were sent to six national parties, 33 state parties and seven registered unrecognised parties.
The committee has also heard the views of the Law Commission on simultaneous polls. The law panel could be called again on the issue.
According to its terms of reference, the committee is meant to "examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections to the House of the People (Lok Sabha), State Legislative Assemblies, municipalities and panchayats, keeping in view the existing framework under the Constitution and other statutory provisions..."
For this purpose, the committee will "...examine and recommend specific amendments to the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act, 1950, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the rules made thereunder and any other law or rules which would require amendments for the purpose of holding simultaneous elections".