Elections to state Assemblies whose terms expire before 2021 could be held along with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, an electoral reforms committee formed by the Uttar Pradesh government has suggested. For states that are scheduled to have elections before the Lok Sabha polls may be postponed to be held simultaneously with them, the committee added.

The panel submitted a report to Chief Minister Adityanath on Monday, endorsing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of simultaneous national and state elections, The Indian Express reported. The state will send the report to the Centre, Adityanath said.

The seven-member committee headed by Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh suggested that the states whose Assembly terms will expire after 2021 can have elections along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. Local bodies can join the common electoral cycle from 2029, the report said.

“In the world’s biggest democracy, we should ensure we do not end up spending five years on elections,” Adityanath said. “We contest elections for five years. When the state elections are over, Lok Sabha polls follow. When Lok Sabha polls end, then there are local body elections. When elections take place repeatedly officials get busy, development works stop and attention is diverted.”

Prime Minister Modi has spoken about the idea of simultaneous state and national elections on several occasions. President Ram Nath Kovind, too, in his address on the first day of the Parliament’s Budget Session, urged political parties to reach a consensus on the matter.