Govt seeks public views on desirability of simultaneous polls

The development comes against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi floating the idea, which was subsequently articulated by President Pranab Mukherjee.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:September 11, 2016 9:01 pm

Is it desirable to hold simultaneous elections? This question, along with some other queries related to the issue, have been posted by the government on its website MyGov.com to seek the views of “all interested people”, including common citizens, MPs, MLAs, MLCs, constitutional experts, academics experts, bureaucrats and social media influencers. The last date for submitting the views is October 15.

The development comes against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi floating the idea, which was subsequently articulated by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The questions asked are:

Is it desirable to hold simultaneous elections? What are the pros and cons? If simultaneous elections are held, then for the first time what happens to assemblies whose scheduled tenure either ends before or after the proposed date of holding elections? Should the term of Lok Sabha and assemblies be fixed? What would happen in case by-elections are necessitated in between terms What happens in case the ruling party or coalition loses majority in between term, either in Lok Sabha or in State assemblies?

“The desirability of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas has been discussed at various levels. A considered view is that simultaneous elections will not only keep alive the enthusiasm of voters, but will also result in huge savings to the public exchequer as well as avoiding repetition of administrative effort,” said a note explaining the reasons for such queries.

“It is also expected to control the expenses of political parties. Simultaneous elections will also avoid repeated enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct which affects administrative actions by the government,” it added. The noted pointed out that several structural changes will need to be done in case a decision is made to conduct simultaneous election, including possibility of Constitutional amendments to Articles 83, 172, 85 and 174 to streamline the process.