Recently, the Law Commission of India headed by Justice B.S Chauhan has been conducting various discussions with various political parties regarding the possibility for the conduct of simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies in India.
During the discussion, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi emphasized the need of holding simultaneous polls which may later be worthwhile in conserving valuable resources such as time and money and the political parties would be more focused on building good governance. The then President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee and the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Om Prakash Rawat have also consented to his view. But according to a few experts, multiple elections may help strengthen the democracy.
The Law Commission has proposed certain suggestions in the discussions which have been listed below:
Amendments to the Constitution of India, 1950, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies’ Rules of Procedure.
Addition of definition of simultaneous election in the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Amendment of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to replace ‘vote of no confidence’ with ‘constructive vote of no confidence’.
Ratification by majority of states of the proposed Constitution amendments, etc.
According to a few experts, these simultaneous elections may have the following pros and cons:
More time may be invested on developmental issues rather than wasting time on designing strategies and actions against opposition parties.
The Government of India may reserve and utilize money for implementing essential schemes and not waste the money in conducting elections throughout the year.
This system may help in diminishing corruption, casteism, communalism which is generally prevalent in elections and campaigns.
Conducting elections at the same time may lead to various complexities including requirement of huge numbers of electronic voting machines, enormous deployment of central forces, i.e. Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force and the Border Security Force, as cities and villages together will gear for voting, etc.
Upon clubbing both the elections there may always be dominance of national issues over state issues.
The politicians may, after the elections, become serene and lethargic during their term and become ignorant towards their responsibilities.
This idea of simultaneous elections has been highly debated over the years and may soon prove to be a colossal step taken towards a major reform in India but it is believed that the criticism should also be taken into consideration before this path-breaking idea is turned into a reality.
Senior Legal Associate
Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University
The Indian Lawyer