Simultaneous Elections : Central Government

Simultaneous Elections: Central Government

Recently, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, the Law Minister has informed that the matter of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies has been referred to the Law Commission.

  • The idea of holding simultaneous elections was proposed by the Election Commission in 1983. Similar suggestions have also been given by the Law Commission and the Policy Commission.
  • Under the system of simultaneous elections, elections to the House of the People and the State Legislative Assemblies will be planned in such a way that voters in a particular constituency can vote for both the elections on the same day.
  • Till the year 1967, the elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies were held simultaneously. However, this arrangement broke down after the dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and the Lok Sabha in 1970.
  • Thus the elections to the State Legislative Assemblies and the Lok Sabha were held separately.

Arguments in favor of simultaneous elections

  • Due to the implementation of the model code of conduct for a long time, the situation of policy paralysis will remain.
  • Political parties and individual candidates will spend huge amount of money in elections.
  • A large number of security forces will have to be deployed for holding elections simultaneously. This will affect other security objectives.
  • There will be an obstacle in the normal public life. Also, the operation of other essential services will also be affected.

Arguments Against Simultaneous Elections

  • The challenge of operational viability exists. For example, how the simultaneous election cycle will be synchronized for the first time.
  • There are constitutional challenges in curtailing and extending the tenure of Lok Sabha/State Legislative Assemblies.
  • This reduction or expansion would require amendments to certain provisions of the Constitution. Article – 83, 84, 172, 174, 356 etc. will have to be amended.
  • National and state issues differ. Simultaneous elections can influence the decision of voters.

Source – Economics Times

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