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Your Views Invited on Simultaneous Elections in India

Narendra Modi at the 2nd Year Anniversary celebrations of MyGov, in New Delhi on August 06, 2016

PM Narendra Modi at the 2nd Year Anniversary celebrations of MyGov, in New Delhi on August 06, 2016

The Government of India is asking the citizens to submit their views on the desirability of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas.

It is stated that simultaneous elections will not only keep alive the enthusiasm of voters, but will also result in huge savings to the public exchequer by avoiding repetition of administrative effort.

It is also expected to control the expenses of political parties. Simultaneous elections, according to the government, will avoid repeated enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct which affects administrative actions by the government.

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, has also expressed his views on the desirability of holding simultaneous elections.

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Speaking at a recent function, he said, “With some election or the other throughout the year, normal activities of the government come to a standstill because of code of conduct. This is an idea the political leadership should think of. If political parties collectively think, we can change it…. The Election Commission can also put in their idea and efforts on holding the polls together and that will be highly beneficial.”

Similarly, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has spoken several times on considering the feasibility of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections. In two recent TV discussions, the Prime Minister reiterated this idea and invited a national debate on the issue.

In India, simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha (House of The People) and Vidhan Sabhas (State Legislative Assemblies) were organized in the years 1951-52, 1957, 1962 and 1967.

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Thereafter, however, the schedule could not be maintained and the elections to the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas have still not been realigned.

The next General Election to the Lok Sabha is scheduled for 2019. Elections for the Vidhan Sabhas of 5 States are scheduled for 2017, for 13 States in 2018, for 9 States in 2019, for 1 State 2020 and the remaining are scheduled for 2021.

The online government interface MyGov invites citizens, Parliamentarians, Members of Legislative assemblies and councils, constitutional experts, bureaucrats, academics experts, social media influencers, and others to give their view on the subject.

The issues that can be considered while formulating a view may include:

1. Is it desirable to hold simultaneous elections? What are the pros and cons?

2. If simultaneous elections are held, then for the first time what happens to assemblies whose scheduled tenure either ends before or after the proposed date of holding elections?

3. Should the term of Lok Sabha and assemblies be fixed?

4. What would happen in case by-elections are necessitated in between terms?

5. What happens in case the ruling party or coalition loses majority in between term, either in Lok Sabha or in State assemblies?

You may submit your opinion by either writing in the comment box on the MyGov website, or by attaching a PDF document, or through a Youtube video.

The last for submitting your opinion is 15th October, 2016.

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