Elections to Lok Sabha & Legislative Assembly at same time

Elections to Lok Sabha & Legislative Assembly at same time

Why in news

  • 2018 : Law Commission has released a white paper on Simultaneous Elections
  • 2019 : 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

  • Recommendation of Committees 
    • 2018 : Law Commission has released a white paper on Simultaneous Elections.
    • 1999 : Law Commission Report recommended it
    • 2015 : Parliamentary Committee on Law & Justice  recommended this
  • Political Reason
    • Frequent elections and implementation of Model Code of Conduct leads to policy paralysis and governance deficit impacting  development in country 
  • Economic Reasons
    • Money & resources that are used on elections can be minimised  & used on Social Welfare
  • Social Reasons : Elections in India are polarising events and promotes communalism , casteism etc . Hence, fewer elections are better
  • 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.
  • 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 Commission 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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