National

Law Commission endorses simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha, Assemblies

Holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies would save public money, help reduce the burden on administrative set up and security forces and ensure better implementation of government policies, the Law Commission has said. File

Holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies would save public money, help reduce the burden on administrative set up and security forces and ensure better implementation of government policies, the Law Commission has said. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Recommends changes in the Constitution and the electoral law to hold the mammoth exercise.

The Law Commission of India on Thursday recommended holding of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies to save public money.

The Commission, in  draft recommendations, said simultaneous polls would help the government of the day focus on “developmental activities rather than in electioneering.”

Policy implementation

The exercise would also stop the drain on the administrative set-up and security forces. Simultaneous elections would further ensure better implementation of government policies on time.

The Commission said the draft recommendations were published as the issue was of magnitude. This draft is a product of a balanced view taken by the Commission after receiving public suggestions in favour and against simultaneous polls. The Commission said simultaneous polls should be achieved by introducing “bare minimum” constitutional amendments and with the ratification of the States.

 

As one of the options, the Commission recommends that elections to 12 State Assemblies and one Union Territory (with legislature) can be synchronised with the general elections in 2019. Simultaneous polls can be achieved if there is “political will” and if the States “agree voluntarily.”

It said elections to the Assemblies of five States — Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Telangana — are due with the elections to the Lok Sabha and therefore already stand synchronised. Polls in Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and NCT of Delhi (Union Territory with Legislature) can also be held along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

In case of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan, where elections are due in early January of 2019 (Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan) and end of 2018 (Mizoram), extension of up to six months is required to attain synchronisation with the Lok Sabha polls next year.

In case of the remaining 16 States and Puducherry (Union Territory with Legislature), holding simultaneous elections in 2019 would be impracticable, the Commission said.

“Therefore, the elections to these State Legislative Assemblies can be conducted towards the end of 2021, which will be approximately midway of the term of the House of the People, assuming that the term of the 17th Lok Sabha begins in mid of 2019,” the Commission pointed out.

In such a scenario, the maximum period by which any State Assembly is to be extended would be by 13 months (in the case of Bihar) and the maximum period of curtailment is 17 (in the case of Karnataka).

The term of the State Assemblies so constituted as a result of the elections in 2021 shall be only for thirty months or till June 2024, whichever is earlier, the Commission said.

“Thereafter, elections to the House of the People and all the State Legislative Assemblies and Union Territories (with legislatures) can be held together from 2024, completely synchronising the elections,” it recommended.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 5:25:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/law-commission-endorses-simultaneous-polls/article24821413.ece

Next Story