NEW DELHI – India’s independent Election Commission has said it will be able to hold simultaneous national and state elections from next year. 

“We will be logistically ready to hold simultaneous polls by September 2018, but it’s up to the government to take a decision and make necessary legal amendments for it,” India’s Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat told the media in the central city of Bhopal Wednesday evening. 

The top poll official also said the commission has already ordered more electronic voting machines (EVM) and will have them by next year. 

“We will have four million voter verifiable paper audit trail EVMs by September 2018,” he added. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this year made a strong pitch for simultaneous holding of national and state elections, urging all political parties to rise above politics to consider the proposal. 

The next general elections are slated for 2019. But not all Indian states are scheduled to have polls that year. Polling takes place every five years in this country. – Xinhua