Recently, Prime Minister has suggested that elections to the national and state legislatures, panchayats and urban local bodies should be held simultaneously.
- Large amount of money is spent on various elections every year.
- Whole administrative machinery gets engaged in election work which affects the productivity of other government services.
- Frequent elections bring to a standstill normal functioning of the government cannot announce any new schemes, make any new appointments, transfers or postings without EC approval during this period.
- However, frequent elections enhance accountability because it forces the politicians to meet the masses.
- Local and national issues will get mix up and will distort priorities.
- In voters’ minds national issues might overtake state and local issues or vice versa.
- Passing a no confidence motion to conduct the election before expiry of the term will be unconstitutional (Article 83(2) -It is state’s prerogative to decide when to call for elections).
- It is also against the federal feature of the constitution.
- Not easy to implement: Many times a Government is dissolved prematurely, so in long run having a mismatch in elections in inevitable. For e.g. Consider one old scenario when the Lok Sabha gets dissolved in just 13 days, in 1998.
Parliamentary Panel Recommendations:
- Dissolve state assemblies who have a remaining life
- Hold elections to half of the state legislatures at the time of Lok Sabha elections and for the rest at the mid-term period of the Lok Sabha. This is similar to the American mid-term elections.
- Simultaneous elections to Panchayats, assembly and Lok Sabha are desirable however they are not feasible.
- To make the election process more transparent, cost effective, peaceful and quick we should consider some easily implementable solutions such as: To cut the role of money power in elections, putting a cap on political party expenditure and state funding of political parties.
- Also ban on all private, especially corporate funds should be considered.
- Reduce the duration of the election process by half by conducting the elections in one day.