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Simultaneous Elections: Term Synchronization Proposal



  Apr 09, 2024

SIMULTANEOUS ELECTIONS AND SYNCHRONIZATION OF TERMS



What is the Concept of Simultaneous Elections?

Simultaneous elections refer to the proposal of holding elections for the Lok Sabha (House of the People), State Legislative Assemblies, and local bodies (Municipalities and Panchayats) at the same time, across the entire country. This concept aims to streamline the electoral process, reduce costs, and minimize the impact of frequent elections on governance and development activities.

How Were Simultaneous Elections Proposed to Be Implemented?

The proposal suggests a phased approach for implementing simultaneous elections:

1. First Phase: Conduct elections for the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies together.
2. Second Phase: Align the elections for Municipalities and Panchayats with the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies, ensuring they are held within 100 days of the former.

What Are the Key Recommendations Made by the Committee?

• Introduction of Article 82A: To synchronize the terms of the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, potentially cutting short the tenure of State Assemblies to align with the Lok Sabha election cycle.
• Implementation Group: Establishment of a group to oversee the execution of these recommendations.
• Introduction of Article 324A and Amendment in Article 325: For conducting simultaneous local body elections and creating a single electoral roll and voter identity system.

Why Was the Proposal for Simultaneous Elections Considered?

The continuous cycle of elections across different states and local bodies has been seen to place a substantial logistical and financial burden on the government and other stakeholders. Moreover, it leads to frequent imposition of the Model Code of Conduct, which can stall developmental projects and governance initiatives. Simultaneous elections are believed to mitigate these issues, ensuring uninterrupted governance and reducing expenditure.

What Are the Challenges and Concerns Regarding Simultaneous Elections?

Critics argue that simultaneous elections could:

• Undermine the federal structure by diluting the importance of state and local issues in favor of national narratives.
• Marginalize regional parties and interests.
• Require significant amendments to the Constitution, potentially impacting its basic structure.
• Create logistical challenges in implementing a uniform election across a diverse country like India.

How Would Simultaneous Elections Affect the Duration of Legislative Assemblies?

To achieve synchronization, the tenure of certain State Assemblies may need to be altered. Assemblies formed after the designated synchronization date but before the completion of the Lok Sabha’s full term might have their terms cut short to align with the next Lok Sabha elections.

What is the Significance of an “Appointed Date”?

The “Appointed Date” refers to a specific date, possibly announced by the President, marking the beginning of the new synchronized election cycle. It plays a crucial role in determining the tenure of state assemblies and the scheduling of all subsequent elections to align with the Lok Sabha cycle.

How Will This Affect Future Elections?

Once implemented, all general elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, followed by local body elections, will be held simultaneously. This means that any assembly elected post the “Appointed Date” will have its term adjusted to end with the general elections, establishing a uniform electoral cycle across the country.



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