Parliament panel exploring scope for simultaneous LS, Assembly polls
A parliamentary committee has initiated the process of examining the possibility of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together, a practice which had ended in 1967.
New Delhi: A parliamentary committee has initiated the process of examining the possibility of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together, a practice which had ended in 1967.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Personnel will shortly write to political parties to elicit their views on the matter.
There have been demands to hold the two elections together as it can save money, time and resources and Chief Election Commissioner HS Brahma recently said that he is not averse to exploring the possibility.
The Committee has received some inputs from the Election Commission (EC) and the Law Ministry in this regard.
Those who support the idea point out that with 29 states and seven Union Territories, some part or the other of the country is gearing up for an election at any point of time. It forces political parties to be perpetually in election mode. Also, the Model Code of Conduct restricts the free functioning of governments at the time of polls.
But critics say that the plan is not practical. They have questioned what would happen if a state government were to fall within a year of coming to power?
Law Ministry officials pointed out that elections to Lok Sabha and the Assemblies were held together from 1951 to 1967, but dissolution of some legislative Assemblies between 1968 and 1970 changed the picture. The term of the Lok Sabha too had ended abruptly in 1970 and the practice of simultaneous elections had to be discontinued.
They said that if such a practice is started again, then there is a possibility that some state governments will have to sacrifice their tenures mid way.
"Based on the recommendations of the parliamentary committee, the government too would like to discuss the issue with stakeholders. There is a distinct possibility that EC may hold a similar exercise as the conduct of elections is its domain," a senior officer explained, hinting that even if the panel supports the idea, no quick decision should be expected on part of the government.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee, headed by EMS Natchiappan, would deliberate on the issue in the coming month.