Niti Aayog pro­poses ten­ure re­jig of As­sem­blies for joint state, LS polls

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Sm­riti Kak Ram­chan­dran let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The tenures of half of the state As­sem­blies need to be cur­tailed by 3 to 15 months and the rest ex­tended by up to a year to en­able si­mul­ta­ne­ous state and Lok Sabha elec­tions, the gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy think tank has said in a re­port.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has been a strong ad­vo­cate of si­mul­ta­ne­ous elec­tions, but most po­lit­i­cal par­ties aren’t en­thused by the idea.

The NITI Aayog’s dis­cus­sion pa­per bats for si­mul­ta­ne­ous elec­tions stat­ing that fre­quent polls change the fo­cus of pol­icy mak­ing be­cause “short-sighted pop­ulist” and “po­lit­i­cally safe” mea­sures are ac­corded higher pri­or­ity.

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion is hold­ing con­sul­ta­tions with all par­ties to try to build a con­sen­sus on the is­sue.

In­stead of hold­ing elec­tions in two to five states ev­ery year, the re­port has pro­posed elec­tions in two cy­cles with an in­ter­reg­num of 30 months: 14 states to go to polls along with that of the Lok Sabha in one phase (in April-May 2019) and the re­main­ing states in the next cy­cle two-and-a-half years later (in Oc­to­berNovem­ber 2021).

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