Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss the need, advantages and challenges inherent in simultaneous election in India.
Discuss the need, advantages and challenges inherent in simultaneous election in India.
Ans: The issue of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections had been referred to the Law Commission for a practicable road map and a framework can be worked out.
Need for simultaneous election in India:
- A report of a parliamentary panel noted that frequent elections lead to “disruption” of normal public life and impact the functioning of essential services and that simultaneous polls would reduce the massive expenditure incurred to conduct separate elections every year.
- Between 2014 and 2022, there were as many as 50 State Assembly elections.
Constitutional Amendments needed for simultaneous Elections;
- Article 83 which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament.
- Article 85 deals dissolution of Lok Sabha by the President.
- Article 172 related to duration of state legislatures.
- Article 174 related to dissolution of state assemblies.
- Article 356 President’s Rule in the state.
Advantages of simultaneous election in India:
- Money Saving: The biggest logic in the favour of the simultaneous election is the saving of government money.
- Speedy Development Work: It is observed that when the election Model Code of Conduct is in force then the inauguration of new projects does not take place.
- Check on Black Money: It is an open secret that elections are fought with black A huge black turned into white money during elections in the country.
- Smooth functioning of the Government Machinery: Concerned government deploys huge manpower and machinery to conduct free and fair elections in the country and states. Schools and colleges open on time; teachers and other officials are allowed to work in their respective departments which ease the life of general public.
- Efficiency of Governance: If elections are not conducted annually then the government need not to woo general public through lucrative schemes and make caste and religion based programmes.
- Even State and Central Government need not to prepare lucrative budget every year and they can take tough decisions for the betterment of the economy.
Challenges in simultaneous election:
- Local issues will fade out: It is observed that elections for state assemblies and Lok Sabha are fought on different issues. Regional parties target local issues while national parties target national issues.
- Hard time to Regional Parties: Regional parties will not be able to compete with national parties in terms of election expenditure and election strategy.
- Delay in Election Results: If elections are conducted in one time mode then the elections results will be declared very late.
- Constitutional Problems: One time election seems almost impossible due to democratic set up of the Suppose if elections are conducted simultaneously but it is not sure that all the states and central government will be formed by the full majority. It is also possible that some parties make alliance government which can fall any time before 5 years. So there is a possibility of re-election in the whole country.
- Requirement of Huge Machinery & Resources: According to the Law Commission, if the country goes for simultaneous election then the election commission need to spend Rs 4,500 crore on new EVMs.
Analysis of financial implications, effect of MCC and law commission's recommendations suggest that there is a feasibility to restore Simultaneous Election as it existed during the first two decades of India's independence. However, Simultaneous Election cannot be the panacea. The issues related to frequent elections can be addressed by, re-looking at the duration of restrictions under MCC, curbing poll expenditures by electoral funding reforms, bringing political parties under RTI, etc.