In response to a letter from the Law Commission, the Election Commission (EC) reportedly suggested the idea of ‘one year one election’. On April 24, Law Commission had sought the poll commission’s views on simultaneous polls – all state Assembly and Lok Sabha polls together. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested the idea of ‘one nation one election’. The Law Commission had sought EC’s views on five Constitutional issues, and 15 sociopolitical and economic issues – that need to be addressed before the government is ready for aligning all state Assembly polls with Lok Sabha elections.
Calling simultaneous polls a desirable and achievable exercise, last week, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat and his deputies Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa supported the idea of holding the Lok Sabha polls and state Assemblies polls together. Last year, the Election Commission conducted Assembly elections in five states together. According to experts, conducting one year one elections target would be an easier task as it does not require many legal amendments to the Constitution. According to the EC, Article 83, Article 85, Article 172, Article 174 and Article 356 will have to be tweaked for conducting simultaneous polls.
In 2015, poll panel conveyed to the government that conducting simultaneous polls would require amendments in the Constitution. In the recent times, the Narendra Modi has openly expressed his views on simultaneous elections, saying that it would save money and time.
He further said elections at short intervals hinder the development and make it difficult for governments to fulfill its policies and programmes. In January, he said at least we should start debating the idea of simultaneous polls.
“A sustained debate is required on the subject of simultaneous elections and all political parties need to arrive at a consensus on this issue,” President Ram Nath Kovind said in his joint address to the two Houses of Parliament.