Advani calls for 'simultaneous Lok Sabha, state Assembly polls'



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Stressing upon the importance of the timing of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, Senior BJP leader LK Advani has called for a fixed tenure for both institutions, and simultaneous elections at the Centre and States every five years.

In his latest blog titled “A PLEA TO THE NEW PRESIDENT”, Advani has appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee to zero in on poll reforms.

“Let the new Rashtrapati take an initiative with regard to poll reforms in their totality… Let the present Government accomplish this one thing at least: a fixed tenure for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, and simultaneous elections at the Centre and States every five years”, writes Advani.

Advani said that he had earlier discussed the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha, and now the President Pranab Mukhejee and found them affirmative to his suggestion that there “should be no midway dissolution of either the Lok Sabha or the State Assemblies. Both these institutions must have a fixed tenure”.

Advani started by saying that till 1967, the general elections were synchronised with the Assembly elections. But in early 1971, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi dissolved the Lok Sabha ahead of schedule, and held the Fifth Lok Sabha elections, thus “delinking Lok Sabha and Assembly elections” for the first time.

Advani also pointed out that election schedules of different states were also delinked from one another as a State Assembly can be dissolved at any point of time, if it is found that the governance is not being carried on in accordance with the Constitution.

For example, since 2010, as many as 12 states have gone to polls. Not to forget, Himachal and Gujarat, which are expected to hold elections this December.

Thus Advani explained how the country remains in “a perpetual election mode”, which is “not good either for governance or for the polity”.

“When for six years we were in the NDA Government we actually experienced how impending elections even in a remote corner of the country used to influence decision making in New Delhi”, reasoned the senior BJP leader.

Buttressing his point, Advani also cited the example of the US and the UK and said that “the exact date of elections should not be arbitrarily decided by the executive”.

While in the US, Presidential elections take place every four years, and always ‘on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November’, the UK government too was mulling the same as it enacted a “Fixed – term Parliaments Act, 2011” last year.

Advani also highlighted the need for reforms to curb the role of money power in elections, which is the root cause of corruption and urged the President to act upon the electoral reforms in totality.