(Source: PTI)

Three Options For Simultaneous Polls But None ‘Feasible’

The Law Commission, while endorsing simultaneous state and central elections, said it will be difficult to implement.

The executive body tasked with legal reform, in its draft report, laid out three scenarios to make ‘one nation, one election’—an idea supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party—possible. In a nut shell, these include:

  • Two rounds of elections to completely sync state and general polls by 2024.
  • Holding elections twice every five years.
  • And all states going to polls together in the same calendar year.

None of the options, according to Law Commission Member Justice Ravi Tripathi, is feasible in the current situation.

A final report couldn’t be submitted by the commission because of lack of clarity on how the cycle of simultaneous polls would continue in the event of a hung house in case no party managed to win a majority in a state or Parliament, Justice Tripathi told BloombergQuint in an interview. The twenty-first Law Commission was expected to submit the final report before its term ended on Aug. 31.

The concept of ‘one nation, one election’ is a “pipe dream”, Supreme Court Advocate and Rajya Sabha Member KTS Tulsi said, adding that Indians won’t give up the power to hold governments accountable.

Prime Minister Modi has called for a public debate on simultaneous polls. It was one of the promises in his 2014 election campaign and finds a mention in the party manifesto too. Yet, most opposition parties have turned down the idea, saying that it will the BJP an advantage.

Moreover, it would require an amendment to the Constitution—that can only be passed by a two-thirds majority in both house of Parliament.

In the present situation of the Constitution, it’s not feasible. But we have definitely said that it is desirable.
Justice Ravi Tripathi, Member, 21st Law Commission of India

Watch the full discussion here.