Elections to Legislative Assembly & Lok Sabha at same time

Elections to Legislative Assembly & Lok Sabha at same time

Why in news

  • April 2018 : Law Commission has released a white paper on Simultaneous Elections
  • Parliamentary Committee on Law & Justice has argued that Elections to Legislative Assembly & Lok Sabha should take place  at same time .

Historical Knowledge : After independence , first four elections were held at same time but after that  it couldn’t be continued . This was mainly done by Indira Gandhi , who wanted to cut the wings of regional leaders so that she needn’t depend on them for central power

Points in favour of this

  1. Recommendation of Committees 
    • April 2018 : Law Commission has released a white paper on Simultaneous Elections. | 1999 : Law Commission Report recommended it
    • 2015 : Parliamentary Committee on Law & Justice 
  2. Political Reason :
    • Frequent elections and implementation of Model Code of Conduct leads to policy paralysis and governance deficit impacting  development in country 
  3. Economic Reasons :
    • Money & resources that are used on elections can be minimized  & used on Social Welfare
  4. Social Reasons :
    • Elections in India are polarizing events and promotes communalism , casteism etc . Hence, fewer elections are better
  5. Helpful in  Internal & External Security :
    • Concurrent polls would free central armed forces and manpower that is deployed at regular intervals for election duty so that they can be used better for their regular functions.
  6. Examples from other countries : held successfully in Sweden & South Africa

Points against this

  • Against Basic Structure of Constitution : To implement this system , there would be need of fixed tenure system .Fixed tenure is against Basic Structure of Constitution
  • Result in lower Accountability : In present system, same political party has to approach voters multiple times (atleast 3 times) in 5 years. It  increases the accountability and answerability  
  • Against the federal principle : National parties are going to benefit as Voters in India are not mature enough to vote on central & state issues at same time
  • There is no report to vouch that development in India is stopped due to frequent elections

Alternate Way

Former Chief Election Commissioner Qureshi’s suggestion : Center should provide more paramilitary forces in bigger states like UP, Bihar etc so that election can be conducted in 1 Phase only and reduce time when Model code of conduct is in place 

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