The idea has been pushed by the government since 2015.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Rajiv Kumar, today said that simultaneous polls will be good if it is implemented. “In my opinion, if it is implemented it will be good, people’s faith in the democratic process will stay intact,” Kumar told ANI. Kumar said that India perpetually stays in election mode and simultaneous elections will help India come out of it.
“In my opinion, if it is implemented it will be good, people’s faith in the democratic process will stay intact,” Kumar told ANI.
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Niti Aayog had last year suggested synchronised, two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly polls from 2024 so as to ensure minimum ‘campaign-mode’ disruption to governance.
The idea has been pushed by the government since 2015. In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, had called for a wide-ranging debate on holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies saying that it will result in financial savings.
In 2017, NITI Aayog in its report ‘Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20,’ had suggested the formation of a group of experts to design an implementation process. It also said that simultaneous elections would require a one-year time extension of some of the state assemblies.
The Aayog also discussed the necessities for implementing ‘one nation one election’. It highlighted the need to draft appropriate Constitutional measures, workable framework of transition and various operational details. It had made the ECI, nodal agency to look into the suggestion and set a timeline of March 2018 for the purpose.
Meanwhile, the Union government in 2015 had sought Election Commission’s opinion on conducting simultaneous elections. Recently Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said that the EC has sent a detailed report to the government regarding the requirements and amendments needed for its implementation.
According to the ECI, five amendments need to be made in the Constitution. Article 83, which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament, along with Article 85 (dissolution of Lok Sabha by the President), Article 172 (duration of state legislatures), Article 174 (dissolution of state assemblies) and Article 356 (President’s Rule), to facilitate simultaneous polls. It also requires certain changes in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to shorten or extend the terms of state legislative assemblies to effect the move.