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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the contribution of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee for taking corrective measures in developing more effective government system by introducing smaller council of ministers, bringing stricter anti-defection law and changing country’s political culture.

Addressing the nation through his 47th monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”  on Sunday Prime Minister said efforts were afoot and discussions were being held about simultaneiously holding Lok Sabha and state assembly polls together. He described the debate on the issue as a healthy sign for democracy.

He said, “For many years in India, the political culture of forming a very large cabinet was being misused to constitute jumbo cabinets not only to create a divide, but also to appease political leaders. Atalji changed it.” This effort of his resulted in saving of money as well as of resources. This also helped in improving efficiency, Modi said.

Prime Minister said, “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.”

Mann Ki Baat: PM pays tributes to Atalji for political reforms

There are differences among political parties on the issue of simultaneous polls. BJP, its NDA partners Shiromani Akali Dal, AIADMK, Samajwadi Party and Telangana Rashtra Samiti have supported the proposal, while Congress, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, DMK, Telugu Desam Party, Left parties and the JD (S) have opposed the ruling alliance’ proposal.

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The PM’s landmark” Mann ki Baat” was aired on the entire network of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) and streamed on the You Tube channels of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, AIR and DD News.

Referring to the Triple Talaq Bill, Prime Minister said that it was passed in Lok Sabha but could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. However, he assured the Muslim women that the entire nation is there with them.

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.

He said the constitutional amendment brought during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, also ensured that the limit under the anti-defection law was enhanced from one-thirds to two-thirds. “Besides, clear guidelines were defined to disqualify the defector,” the prime minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that Vajpayee was a “true patriot,” who, in 2001, changed the timing of presenting the budget was from 5 pm to 11 am. Earlier, as was the British tradition, the Budget used to be presented at 5 pm because in London, Parliament used to start working at that time.

He said that all eyes of the nation are on Jakarta where 2018 Asian Games were continuing. He said that the nation is proud of the medal winners and wish those whose events are left the very best.

He reassured his government’s priorities of empowering women, safeguarding the rights of SC/ST communities and assured Keralites that whole nation  stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this hour of grief.

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