SIMULTANEOUS ELECTION Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     29th February 2024        

Context: The Law Commission of India has proposed three significant Constitutional amendments for the 'One Nation, One Election' project in 2029, including provisions for simultaneous polls, a common electoral roll, and the formation of a unity government in the event of a government's premature fall.

Simultaneous Election

  • About: It refers to synchronizing the Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections within India's electoral cycle, excluding elections to local bodies.
  • Early Suggestions by Election Commission : The Election Commission proposed in its 1983 annual report the need for a system for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies.
  • Law Commission's Recommendation: The 170th Report of the Law Commission, headed by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy in 1999, advocated returning to a scenario where elections to Lok Sabha and all Legislative Assemblies occur simultaneously.
  • Parliamentary Standing Committee and NITI Aayog's Support: The 79th Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee in 2015 and a NITI Aayog paper in 2017 reiterated support for the idea of Simultaneous Elections.
  • Historical Perspective: The practice of Simultaneous Elections began in 1951-52, with the first three General Elections held simultaneously in 1957, 1962, and 1967. However, disruptions occurred due to premature dissolutions in subsequent years.
  • Disruption in the Cycle: The cycle of Simultaneous Elections was disrupted after 1970, leading to separate elections for Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies for the past forty-eight years.
  • Premature Dissolutions and Extended Terms: Premature dissolutions and term extensions for certain Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies contributed to the disturbance in the cycle of Simultaneous Elections.
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