Do we need one nation and one election system?

Simultaneous elections refer to holding elections to Lok Sabha and state Legislative Assemblies simultaneously, one in 5 years –

  • But political parties are divided over the issue.
  • Were held during the first 2 decades after Independence up to 1967.

Pros –

  • Saves money – as a lot of money is spent on elections
  • Saves time – After simultaneous elections political need not to be in campaign mode forever and focus on work.
  • Personnel – EC officials, government officials, teachers have to be employed in election duties which could be saved.
  • Is in favour of the idea of one nation, one election
  • Impact of black money will be reduced as all elections are held at the same time.
  • The imposition of the model code of conduct every time hampers development activities.

Cons –

  • Against the federal character
  • Will impact regional issues as they could be overridden by national issues or vice versa.
  • It is anti-democratic as it would make sense as if India were a unitary state.
  • Simultaneous elections would mean more personnel, more FUM, more VVPATs.
  • It would ignore the diversity of the country.

Reports supporting the issue –

  • Law commission recommended simultaneous elections
  • Election commissions also favour it.

What can be done –

  1. If agreed to be all it could be implemented in phases as per the Parliamentary standing committee report.
    • In the first phase, elections of state scheduled to be held in or near 2019, could be held with vs 2019 elections.
    • Rest states could have elections with 2024.
      • But it could be problematic in the case of pre nature desolation of SLA.
      • Extension or reduction of tenure for 2019 elections would be questionable.
  1. Constitutional amendment and judicial assent are required to adopt it.
  2. The high-level committee could be constituted to work on it.
  3. Other alternatives could be found to reduce slack money usage in elections.

Thus, it could be adopted only after detailed analyses.

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