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.
- 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.
- 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 –
- 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.
- Constitutional amendment and judicial assent are required to adopt it.
- The high-level committee could be constituted to work on it.
- Other alternatives could be found to reduce slack money usage in elections.
Thus, it could be adopted only after detailed analyses.