New Delhi: Back-to-back "expensive" elections are the "biggest challenge" the country's democracy is faced with and a root cause of corruption, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said here on Thursday as he made a strong pitch for holding all polls "once in five year".
On the issue of Vyapam, which was pursued aggressively by opposition parties seeking his removal, Chouhan said it was he who had unravelled the matter first while neither the opposition nor media had clue about it as he lauded his dispensation for taking action in the matter.
"Biggest challenge before the democracy is...If there is anything in the country or not, elections do take place back-to-back throughout five years. This is causing damage to nation's development.
"These back-to-back elections, I feel, there should be an amendment in Constitution and all the polls are held once in five years. And whoever gets elected, they should get complete five year to work," Chouhan said, while speaking at a session themed "Challenges before Democracy" at Jagran Forum of Dainik Jagran here.
He noted a lot of expenses were involved in contesting and winning polls nowadays and the same was at the root of corruption in the country.
Replying to a question, he maintained polls should be state funded to curb corruption. He, however, maintained there was a need for all-party consensus for the same.
"One contests elections to win, and these days a lot of expenses are involved in winning polls. I think these back-to-back expensive elections are at the root (cause) of corruption," he added.
Asked if the Vyapam issue had put his government on back foot amid the development talk, Chouhan refuted the same saying, his dispensation was rather on "front foot" while dealing with the case.
"We are not on back foot but front foot. It was Shivraj Singh Chouhan who unravelled Vyapam case, neither the opposition nor the media knew about it. When I learnt about it, I ordered enquiry by forming STF. I had asked STF to not let go any guilty unpunished," he said.
Chouhan lauded his Government saying "if something goes wrong in Madhya Pradesh, we ourselves investigate and take action. We are not afraid that the state will be criticised for the same. We did not let go any influential guilty".
He hit out at opposition saying the matter was taken before Supreme Court (SC) by his "friends" who felt they were losing ground even as he clinched third term as Chief Minister.
Chouhan added the state government had requested SC to hand over the probe to CBI, notwithstanding the STF appointed by his dispensation doing a "good" job, to come clear of doubts raised by opposition.