Business Standard

‘Hold Lok Sabha, Assembly, panchayat polls together’

- ARCHIS MOHAN New Delhi, 20 February

In its suggestion­s submitted to the high-level committee for ‘one nation, one election’ on Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that elections to the Lok Sabha (LS), legislativ­e Assemblies, and panchayats should be held simultaneo­usly on the basis of a common electoral roll for all three.

The BJP said implementi­ng ‘one nation, one election’, “an idea whose time has come”, would require amending the provisions of the Constituti­on of India, the Once election dates are known, all political parties take “short-term and populist decisions, instead of policyorie­nted decisions,” the BJP said Representa­tion of the People Act, 1951, and the Delimitati­on Act, 1951. The party expressed hope that the high-level committee led by former President Ram Nath Kovind would build consensus on the issue. During their appearance before the committee on Tuesday evening, BJP National President J P Nadda and Union Minister Bhupender Yadav proposed that the Election Commission of India, at least in the first phase, should target synchronis­ing elections to the LS and Assemblies. To hold simultaneo­us LS and Assembly polls, the BJP suggested a review of constituti­onal and legal provisions. The party said that elections to civic bodies and panchayats, organised by the state Election Commission, could be conducted with the LS and Vidhan Sabha elections in the second phase. However, the BJP insisted that all elections should be held based on a common electoral roll.

The party said that simultaneo­us LS, Assembly, and panchayat polls could still be held over several days, as is currently the case, but synchronis­ed to be conducted across the country at one juncture. The BJP argued that the multiplici­ty of elections leads to the wastage of public money. According to the party, “Once election dates are known, all political parties take short-term and populist decisions” instead of policy-oriented ones.

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