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

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Indian Democracy and Simultaneous Elections

Electoral reforms ought to uphold the democratic values of federalism and an active citizenry.

The idea of one nation, one election has once again entered public discussion when it was revealed that the union government has set up a committee led by former President Ram Nath Kovind to study the feasibility of this idea and suggest necessary electoral reforms. The committees mandate is to examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state assemblies, municipalities, and panchayats, keeping in view the existing framework under the Constitution of India and other statutory provisions. It would also propose stages and timelines for holding simultaneous polls if they are not feasible in a single round.

It is notable that, in 2015, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice submitted its report on the Feasibility of Holding Simultaneous Elections to the House of People (Lok Sabha) and State Legislative Assemblies. The report highlighted three main reasons against the current practice of holding separate or non-simultaneous elections in India. First, it entails a massive expenditure for the country. Second, the enforcement of the model code of conduct during the election period leads to a certain policy paralysis, implying adverse consequences for the formulation and implementation of crucial developmental activities. Third, it diverts valuable human resources towards the mammoth task of election duty. The report suggested a two-phase approach as a more realistic way to conduct simultaneous elections. The report advocated that some state assemblies could have their polls in the middle of the Lok Sabhas tenure. The rest of the state assemblies could have their polls at the end of the Lok Sabhas tenure.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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