PANAJI: The Goa Forward Party (GFP), an ally of the BJP, today stated that it was opposed to holding Parliament and state Assembly polls simultaneously as it was "against the spirit of federalism".
The BJP, incidentally, is a votary of the "one nation one election" plan.
GFP president Vijai Sardesai, in his communication today to Justice (Retd) B S Chauhan, Chairman, Law Commission of India, said that "notwithstanding nominal benefits, the proposal for simultaneous elections will be totally against the spirit of federalism, which is a fundamental feature of our Constitution."
In his letter, Sardesai said that simultaneous polls would also be unfavourable to the legitimate aspirations of the country's citizens.
He said that there were valid contentions against the argument that holding state and general polls at the same time would ensure "consistency and continuity" and "reduce corruption" apart from reducing the burden on the resources, financial and manpower, of the administration.
"On the contrary, continuous elections ensure greater accountability, as even though a Central government or a state government is elected for a term of five years, the performance of the government comes under the scrutiny of the electorate during elections in other states," he reasoned.
The GFP chief, who is also Goa Agriculture Minister, stated that such a move (simultaneous polls) would require amendments to the Constitution which lays down that both the Lok Sabha and the state Legislatures, unless dissolved earlier, shall continue for 5 years from the date of the first meeting.
"Hence, while there is provision for dissolution of the Houses before expiry of the term, there is no provision for prolonging the term of the Houses for any reason," he added.
In his letter, Sardesai questioned about the consequences of a scenario in which any government, Central or of any of the states, after simultaneous polls, is voted out due to a no-confidence motion before the expiry of its term.
"If the Central government loses its majority in the Lok Sabha, and a new government is not able to be formed, would elections to all states be called for again along with the Lok Sabha elections?" he asked.
"Or, as suggested in certain reports and at certain fora, would the President govern the country for the remainder of the term, thus bringing in an executive Presidency till the next round of elections?" he further questioned."
Fresh elections to any of these Houses should be held in cases where no government is able to be formed so that the will of the people prevails through their elected representatives," Sardesai's letter said.
Sardesai claimed that it was the prospect of facing elections that kept legislators on their toes.