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Do We Need Simultaneous Election? Law Commission To Examine – Free PDF Download

 

Question

  • Frequent elections lead to ‘disruption’ of normal public life and impact the functioning of essential services. In light of the above statement, critically analyze the feasibility of Simultaneous parliamentary & state legislative elections in India.

The News

  • Recently, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju informed the Lok Sabha that The issue of holding simultaneous Parliamentary and Assembly elections has been referred to the Law Commission of India for a practicable roadmap and a framework be worked out.
  • In a “written reply”, the minister also cited a report of a Parliamentary panel which noted that frequent elections lead to “disruption” of normal public life and impact the functioning of essential services.

What is this Simultaneous Election?

  • Simultaneous elections basically means holding elections to Lok Sabha and all State Legislative Assemblies simultaneously, once in five year.
  • The idea of holding elections simultaneously is ardently supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Currently, elections to the state assemblies and the Lok Sabha are held separately ie: whenever the incumbent government’s five-year term ends or whenever it is dissolved due to various reasons.

What is this Simultaneous Election?

  • 2019 – General elections & Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim elections
  • 2019 – Oct – Nov – Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand elections
  • 2020 – Delhi & Bihar Election
  • 2021 – Assam, Kerala, West Bengal, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu elections
  • 2022 – Goa, Manipur, Punjab, UP, Uttarakhand, HP, Gujarat, J&K elections
  • 2023 – Telangana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, MP, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya

Why so many elections?

So What is the issue?

  • Frequent elections lead to multiple problems
    1. Model code of conduct & Governance timeout
    2. Policy paralysis
    3. Elections are costly affair in India
    4. Black money & Political corruption
    5. Burden on state machinery

So, can we bring simultaneous elections?

  • Conducting simultaneous elections might be tough..!!
    1. Can we bring consensus over the issue?
    2. How do we synchronize the houses?
    3. Is it legally/constitutionally possible?
    4. Will it confuse the voters? National issues or local issue
    5. Is it logistically possible?

What is the expert opinion?

  • Earlier Law Commission of India recommended simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative. 21st Law Commission had said it was convinced that “there exists a viable environment, necessitating the holding of simultaneous elections to the House of the People and the State Legislatures.”
  • Election Commission of India has also extended its in-principle support for the simultaneous elections & so has NITI aayog.
  • 79th report of the parliamentary standing committee on Law and Justice recommended a two phase election schedule
    • One concurrent with Lok Sabha elections
    • Second in the mid-term of the Lok Sabha

Food for thought…

  • Is simultaneous elections a panacea to problems of electoral politics in India?

 

 

 

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