New Delhi, May 24: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has reportedly suggested the idea of ‘one year one election’. In its response to a letter from the Law Commission on April 24, the poll panel has pitched for holding all the elections due in a year together, a media report claims. Also Read - Rajya Sabha Elections Deferred in Wake of COVID-19 Outbreak
The Law Commission in its letter had sought the EC’s views on holding simultaneous polls. It had asked for EC’s position on 20 issues – five Constitutional and 15 sociopolitical and economic issues – that need to be addressed before the government is ready for aligning all state elections with the Lok Sabha polls. Also Read - ‘Election Commission Not in Favour of State Funding of Elections,’ Anurag Thakur Tells Lok Sabha
Last week, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat and his colleagues Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, while reiterating their support for holding simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, said the exercise is a “desirable” and “achievable” goal. Also Read - Biennial Elections For 55 Rajya Sabha Seats From 17 States to be Held on March 26 - Here's Full List of Retiring RS Members
Currently, the ECI holds elections together in those states where the term of assemblies end within a few months of each other. In 2017, the Commission conducted Assembly elections for five states – Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa – together whereas, polls for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh were held simultaneously.
If sources are to be believed, accomplishing ‘one year one election’ will be an easier task as Centre will not have to make many legal amendments to the Constitution for the same whereas, a total of five amendments are likely to be made for facilitating simultaneous polls. According to the EC, Article 83, Article 85, Article 172, Article 174 and Article 356 will have to be tweaked for conducting simultaneous polls.
SK Mendiratta, former legal advisor to EC, was quoted as saying in a media report that if the six-month stipulation is extended to nine or 10 months, elections to all states, whose term is expiring in one year, can be held together.
In 2015, the poll panel was asked by the government about the feasibility of simultaneous polls and the commission made it clear that it would require amendment to the Constitution and election laws and would require certain number of EVMs, polling personnel, Rs 9000 core besides other logistics.