The Bold Voice of J&K

Simultaneous polls

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Simultaneous Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections would benefit national parties but dwarf the role of smaller regional ones which is not a good sign for a healthy democracy. Whether one acknowledges it or not, the wave factor associated with big political leaders and parties does affect the outcome in state polls. And, therefore simultaneous elections would benefit national parties, and small regional parties’ fate will be difficult. BJP has been of the view that there should be combined elections from Panchayat to Parliament and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also keen on simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. President Pranab Mukherjee has also articulated that such a system could ensure political and administrative stability, as frequent elections disrupt regular functioning of the government, and that political parties could collectively take a decision on the issue. Any step towards simultaneous polls requires all-party consensus to create a balance in the society to move towards ‘one nation, one election’ model. Besides increasing logistic burden it will also hike the cost for the exchequer. Going for systematic scheduled polls can bring an order in the process. The frequent polls have being raked up social issues which have taken communal colour unwanted. No doubt that one-time elections may make the job of Election Commission and the administration easier, the role of regional parties would fade which is necessary for sustaining the federal structure. These small entities would otherwise be practically “wiped out” in simultaneous polls. First general elections after Independence were held in 1952. And, from thereon to 1957, 1962 and 1967, polls were a joint affair. Several structural changes will need to be done in case a decision is made to conduct simultaneous election, including possibility of Constitutional amendments to streamline the process.

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