ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Designing to Distort

Simultaneous Elections


In these times of hyper-nationalism, everything gets tied to the nation. So, a matter such as synchronising the timing of parliamentary and assembly elections, too, gets packaged as “one nation, one election.” Such emotive slogans make it tough to consider the proposed changes in a dispassionate manner. When such far-reaching policies are considered, it should be commonplace to ask four questions: Why is this needed? Does this justify an urgent priority? Is the proposal feasible? And, above all, does the policy proposal fit the avowed principles on which the political system is based?

The proposal for introducing mechanisms for artificially ensuring simultaneous elections falls flat on all these four criteria. The idea was mooted by the then chief election commissioner (CEC) in 1982 and reiterated in the Election Commission of India (ECI) report of 1983, though the Government of India advised it to drop the idea (ECI 1984: 81–82). It surfaced again in the report of the Law Commission headed by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy in 1999 (LCI 1999: para 7.2.2).

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Updated On : 22nd Mar, 2018
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