Central government seeks citizens’ feedback on simultaneous polls

: The Union government has sought the views of citizens on holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies, following a debate sparked by statements made by the Prime Minister and the President.

On the MyGov web portal, a discussion was started on Wednesday. It outlines five issues that could be considered for formulating a view on the subject. October 15 is the last date for submissions.

Five questions

The ‘MyGov Discussion’ invites suggestions on five indicative questions: (1) Is it desirable to hold simultaneous elections? What are the pros and cons? (2) If simultaneous elections are held, then for the first time what happens to assemblies whose scheduled tenure either ends before or after the proposed date of holding elections? (3) Should the term of Lok Sabha and assemblies be fixed? (4) What would happen if by-elections are necessary between terms? (5) What happens in case the ruling party or coalition loses majority in between term, either in Lok Sabha or in State assemblies?

The note says the desirability of holding simultaneous elections has been discussed at various levels. The considered view is that simultaneous elections will not only keep alive the enthusiasm of voters, but will lighten the financial and administrative strain on the government and Election Commission machinery.

Simultaneous elections will also avoid repeated enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), a set of legally binding dos and don’ts for the Union/State governments, political parties and candidates, from the date of public announcement of the election.

Governance affected

It has been a subject of debate, particularly the merit of its enforcement from the date of announcement rather than the date of notification of the poll schedule, and its adverse impact on effective governance.

The MyGov discussion refers President Mukherjee’s comments on September 5, saying that with some election or the other throughout the year, normal activities of the government come to a standstill because of the MCC.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 11:59:46 PM |

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