Law Panel to Examine Simultaneous Elections
The Current Issue
- The issue of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections had been referred to the Law Commission for a practicable road map and a framework can be worked out, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju informed the Lok Sabha.
- Between 2014 and 2022, there were 50 State Assembly elections.
- Elections to Parliament and State Legislatures conducted by Election Commission of India.
- State Election Commissions monitor elections to municipalities and panchayaths.
Advantages of Simultaneous Elections
- Reduction in the poll expenses, party expenses, etc. which will help save public money.
- Reduce the burden on administrative setup and security forces.
- Ensure effective implementation of the government policies and ensure that the administrative machinery is engaged in developmental activities rather than electioneering.
- Promote governance instead of populism. It is generally seen that for short term political gains from a particular assembly election, ruling politicians avoid taking a harsh long-term decision which can ultimately help the country in the long run.
- Provide more time to all the stakeholders i.e., political parties, Election Commission of India (ECI), paramilitary forces, civilians for the preparation of elections once in five years.
Concerns of Simultaneous Elections
- The synchronisation of the elections is harder due to presence of parliamentary form of government. The government is accountable to the Lower House and fall of a government often requires that there be an election for its replacement.
- It is difficult to ensure consensus among the various political parties especially regional parties regarding this issue.
- There will be increased demand Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) will double as the ECI has to provide two sets (one for election to the Legislative Assembly and second for that to the Lok Sabha).
- There will also be an additional requirement of the polling staff and for better security arrangements.
Source The Hindu