Few takers for simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha, assemblies

Simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the assemblies were held till 1967.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s suggestion to simultaneously hold elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies, on which the government has invited opinion from the general public, has few takers among political circles, with many parties terming it "impractical".

"It`s impractical. How would it be done," asked Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition Congress in the Lok Sabha.

"Modi saab suggests it and leaves it. He should have given solutions to the problems related to it," Kharge contended, asking that if a state assembly was dissolved one year into its five-year tenure, would there be president`s rule for the remaining period.

Simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the assemblies were held till 1967 when the dawn of coalition politics in the states saw many assemblies being dissolved without completing their full terms.

Modi, at a conference of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts in April, supported the idea of simultaneous polls, saying that otherwise, "things get stalled and a lot of time is spent on elections".

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party`s manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that brought it to power also backed the idea of having simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies.The BJP-led NDA government has also begun a discussion on the issue on MyGov, its citizen interface website, asking people to submit their views on the subject by October 15.

D Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI) also wondered how the idea would work.

"How is it possible? India is such a diverse country and it has a federal structure," he said, adding that it is not "feasible" as it would create lots of problems related to governance.

KC Tyagi of the JD-U said that it is a "noble idea but very impractical".

However, senior Supreme Court advocate and constitutional expert Shanti Bhushan said that "the idea is good".

Interestingly in June, the Election Commission (EC) had told the Law Ministry that it supports the idea of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

The ministry had sought the EC`s views on the recommendation.