'One Nation, One Election': Are Simultaneous Polls Feasible? | The Quint

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a cross-party meeting today to propose simultaneous elections to the looks of our end state assemblies the first four general elections held in India were simultaneous but then on early dissolution of the Lok Sabha or state assemblies has led to a scattered schedule is there merit in such a proposals what hurdles are likely to arise joining us to talk about that is former Chief Election Commissioner Opie Robert where the Election Commissioner back in 2015 had considered such a previous proposal by the Modi government mr. Rawat in principle where do you stand on this proposal actually Election Commission had furnished all the suggestions to the online that whatever constitutional amendment and amendment to are required once those amendments are made adequate provision is made for procuring and necessary number of electronic voting machines and vivi pairs and adequate arrangement for providing central paramilitary force and polling personnel so they are in place Election Commission can deliver simultaneous election without any problem but since the initial requirement of amendment to the Constitution and RP Act was not in place Election Commission continued holding elections to legislative assemblies and Parliament then when these became few under the existing law could you help us understand what specific parts that Constitution would need to be amended and what amendments would need to come into the representation the people back these concerned the term of the houses for Lok Sabha and Sabha and under RP Act the Monday to Election Commission that whenever the term of a house is ending Election Commission has to start the process of conducting elections six months before that date so that is what is needed to be amended to begin with but then there are eventualities that Midway again some assembly may be dissolved or some no-confidence motion may come in government may go all those eventual were visualized by election commission and appropriate solutions were made for making necessary amendments even to cater to those eventualities I want to come to those in just a bit one by one because what you raised and I want we want to know what those suggestions were because those are situations hypothetically that will arise the first of those what will happen to the life or tenure of assemblies that even right now currently a complete variance to the Lok Sabha take Bihar which is about a year and a half of Karnataka which is two years away from the Lok Sabha cycle were there to be a desired convergence how would state governments accept an early dissolution of an assembly or did they go into suspended animation for a prolonged period of time actually that is why Election Commission has recommended that there should be process to bring all parties on board a consensus among all political parties so that whatever dispensation is agreed to with consensus according to that dispensation the necessary amendments should be made so that there is no hitch okay a second situation in the event of perhaps this happening that you start off with assembly elections happening together along with Lok Sabha elections there on after that in the event of a slightly fractured mandate in a state and grouping not being able to hold majority for a full 10 or a government falls the rival grouping is unable to gather a majority either what did you'll propose what happens in such a situation what happens for the light rest of the life of such an assembly commission proposed that in case of no-confidence you should amend the law to make it mandatory that along with no confidence you will bring a confidence motion let's move which kind of bone mind will be why still after the present government Falls so that there is no vacuum and no need of an election but because of other reasons if the assembly gets dissolved then Commission had proposed that if the assembly or the government has already lived for more than half of its tenure then there may be some arrangement which is agreed to by all political to install assembly and the government had not lived for more than half that in your turn there may be a provision to hold election for the limited period so that again the assembly comes in sync with the other Parliament other assemblies and Parliament okay I want to split both of those two points you made one by one the first is an arrangement that parties could come to what would what shape would you likely see that that take so the two points you made that we made a suggestions that if it is lived past the halfway mark that an arrangement is found in your suggestions did you suggest what what shape such an arrangement could take is this is this a political arrangement is this an administrative arrangement it would dress to the governor was the deliberation that happened on that note no deliberation it was just a suggestion in that case governor the representative parties in the house and and find the formulation for installing a government for the remaining area suppose that fails then I think whatever solution all party meeting and the consensus decides that should be implemented the second part of this where you say if it is for if it is for less than half then a proposal made that an election be held for the remainder of that tenure in the spirit of a government being elected in the event of any government being elected for as long as it should be and cycle in this country have been five years would that be something that you find politically palatable that a government comes in after an election is told you have only to your mandate for example if the government comes and falls before two and a half years then main sensing Dempsey is that something that is seeing agreed to by the stakeholders in this just not just not just not just the political parties that are involved in this also are the stakeholders within those that contribute to to the political process and the the spirit of the Constitution the idea that a government comes in for it I know that is limited is that something that you appear that you think will appear palatable to those that that would that would find disagreeable at all I can't really predict whether it will be palatable to all parties or not but you know it is the people who are the sovereign in this country and if people want something it will be done everybody will have to accept it okay but to more specific examples in 2010 the United Kingdom passed the fixed on Parliament act after which the most least in court but in house Australia let you to be held that sort took away something that is that had remained in Britain for very long and in India the predicative of a prime minister or a chief minister de predicative of the chief executive of the state to call elections as in when they deem fit do you think time has come to review that unofficial power that rests in those those those offices no actually that power rests in the election commission not in the executive or political executed let me okay fair enough in the election commission saying okay it is deemed time to hold an election but in that case let me take you back to recent examples right tell on Donna they decided to dissolve the assembly early you had back 15 years ago mr. Vajpayee deciding that he wanted to hold elections only the time period taken ended up being closer to the full five years then he decided to be but you said I'm wanting to hold elections when they deem fit so while Election Commission deems that this is the right time that everything is ready the the broader schedule of which has been decided by those governments that say now we've done time on this this life of this government and we want to go to the people again actually that is where the amendments will help right this kind of dissolution has taken place Election Commission can always decide that no it will be in synchronization with the remaining polls and for the remaining period in the assembly they can have governor fool or whatever is provided for by the Constitution okay in a situation like up again we have one slightly live situation like this right now in Jammu and Kashmir we've had a situation where a previous government fell because one of the two parties that was in an alliance stepped out there was a brief attempt made to form another coalition but at that point the the governor of the state recommended central rule in a situation like that we've gotten to many many months into that particular desirable you may be good Pauline for a period of time just so that it needs a particular cycle actually this election could not be held because of other reason okay the law and order situation on the ground and Election Commission's assessment about the feasibility of holding elections no no I just took J again case an example to say and again we've had periods in the past because of law and order and other instances where states have remained under 356 and other government through governor's rule that phase by and large passed that to the 80s and the 90s that we saw a lot of a large part of this country to date has gotten around to the fact that how unstable governments might be the late elections happened and and let elected representatives whoever they are come to come forth and and fresh governments be formed over your and have drought political leadership is a given thing that that for the sake of cause something that that should be jettisoned the fact that unrepresentative administration happens in the state for close to a year is that desirable actually it is not the matter of cost cost is a material okay and if all political parties decide that not for at a there should be representative government they can amend the law accordingly okay who stops them fair enough when we spoke to you on this outside this show you also believed that other electoral reforms need to be moved along with such a proposal could you enumerate some of those that you'd like to see done certainly in fact two reforms are direly needed in our elections first is the use of money to prevent it that is very important and textin commission is not quality or not eating also those suggestions need to be so that this abused of money goes away because it is one of the point because of which elections in India are suffering on this global election integrity index so we must do something on that second is about the social media and use of big data analytics profiling and targeted social media communication to change the mind of the voters because you might be seeing globally that one referendum result is still you know is in the works and two prime ministers have gone so those kind of things need to be prevented in our country and for that that system has to be brought in these two reforms are very very much needed besides that the criminalization of politics entry of criminal elements and suddenly on priority and some effective measures need to be taken short of those happening as reforms where audit weeded house by government as well but next do you think the Election Commission short of that being legislated what can the Election Commission do here on we've had a general election in the last few many weeks to step in on that and and curb some of that influence on its own do you think there are learnings from this election cycle that need to be taken forward whatever election commission and other constitutional authorities can do on their own he is already in place in fact for social media Election Commission has done a law for abuse of money Election Commission countermanded quite a few elections in fact and Lok Sabha election also one of the election in Tamil Nadu was deferred in Vellore so whatever could be done within the existing legal framework the Election Commission and other constitutional authorities are doing their bit alright I'll end this with with an axe to move to the Chinese people have argued that it aims to benefit one side or the other those that hold power largely either at the center or or all have a strong base in in states what would you say to those who find this an unpalatable idea in principle actually they should bring some empirical evidence to that because empirical evidence is a pointing other way like it looks of my election if you see what is regarded in Lok Sabha and it is to some other party and with hands about 2/3 majority to the regional party same thing in the country if you see Tamil Nadu result Kerala result for Lok Sabha is entirely different than the other states so this is not really supported by empirical evidence if they have empirical evidence yes they should bring it on the table and then it should be considered

Maurice Vega

14 Responses

  1. It's nothing but one of the steps to bring "New world order" where the current illigal India government is helping the international culprits ,oh, actually current illigal India government ministries, officials all are also culprits To mislead,misappropriate, spreading corruption and all evil intentions to make people of the world "A Slave" of the top international culprits.


  2. Great strategy by Modi to completely annihilate the democracy in india. Or should i say trying to make the India a Hindu Rashtra.

  3. Simultaneous elections to LS and the state assemblies will have more hurdles. There are unstable govts in many states. Lets categorise the state govts as most stable and vulnerable. The elections to the states, where the govt has maximum probability to sustain, should be conducted along with LS elections. Separate simultaneous elections for the less stable states after 2.5years from that of the General elections.

  4. BJP had to spend a lot to manipulate these elections… It cannot afford to do this every now and then
    And therefore only one nicely manipulated election should be held in order to break democracy's spine.
    Our fair election Commission should pass this too just as the "anonymous electoral bonds proposal"

  5. We do not have any guarantee that in future all the elected governments will complete 5 years tenure J&K government is an example thr4 it's not possible.

  6. O p Rawat toh Modi bhakt he ,sabh log janthe he,tum kaisa unki interview lete ho, tum dekha nahi uska tenure me kaisi madhat kyi? Anchor, tum bhi saala kemina he

  7. Loktantar me freedom sabse main point h , jo b badlav kisi b roop me freedom ko parbavit kaare vo ( all over n all long )sakaratmak step nhi ho sakta

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