Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said the issue of simultaneous elections will be discussed at the meeting of Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states in New Delhi on Wednesday as part of efforts to build a consensus on the issue."There's a meeting of Chief Ministers on February 28 in Delhi. We will discuss and try for a consensus on holding simultaneous elections for state Assemblies and Parliament," he said in reply to a query at a meeting with a select group of journalists arranged by the BJP's Good Governance Cell.Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states and Deputy Chief Ministers of states where the BJP is in alliance, altogether representing 19 states, would attend a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review development work and to plan a strategy for the upcoming polls in some states. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are some of the major BJP-governed states that are due to go to the polls this year end."I am always of the view that the elections should be held simultaneously. Regular elections are a major hurdle to development. We are always in a 24 by 7 mode preparing for the elections," said the Chief Minister."Even if there's an election in another state, our officers are called for election duty in that state and it hampers work here. We have Assembly elections in December and we would have just started work, then Parliament elections would be on us and there would be model code of conduct," he said.
Chouhan said regular elections do not only hurt the states but is also a major hurdle to the central government."And people have a weird parameter that even if you lose one election, they start saying that the government has lost faith (of the people)," he said adding that it (simultaneous polls) was in the interest of the country and all should go for it."I have been raising my voice for this and I am thankful to the Prime Minister for striving hard for simultaneous elections in the country," he said.To a query about farmer suicides, Chouhan, who is completing his third straight term this December, said, "Any suicide whether of a farmer or from another section of society is unfortunate. There are several reasons for suicide but I do not defend them. My effort has been that no suicide should happen due to agriculture."He said Madhya Pradesh gives loans to farmers at zero per cent interest and has begun Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana that pays farmers the difference between the rate at which he sells in the market and the benchmark rate decided by the government."If the farmer gets the right value for their produce, their problem is solved," he said.For natural disasters, the state pays a compensation of Rs 30,000 per hectare apart from the crop insurance money that they get.On being asked how he plans to win another term amid reports that that Congress has been reviving, he said, "One good thing that has happened in this country's politics is that now there is politics of performance. If you work then you would earn the faith of the people. And, I believe except for few unfortunate incidents that had different reasons, people have faith in me."