Uttar Pradesh bats for simultaneous elections; 7-member panel submits report to CM Adityanath

The seven-member panel has suggested that states where Assembly polls were due on or before December 31, 2021 may be preponed and clubbed with 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Published: 05th June 2018 08:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2018 12:22 AM   |  A+A-

UP CM Yogi Adityanath (File | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Amidst the ongoing debate over ‘one country, one election,’ thereby, syncing the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, an idea put forth by PM Modi, Uttar Pradesh has taken the lead in proposing recommendations and submitting the report to CM Yogi Adityanath here on Tuesday. The same been forwarded to the Centre for consideration.

As per the report, the seven-member panel has suggested that states where Assembly polls were due on or before December 31, 2021 may be preponed and clubbed with  2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Moreover, where the assembly elections due after 2021, they can be postponed to be clubbed with 2024 general elections.

If the recommendations of the panel, set up by the state government in March this year, are accepted, the tenure of the at least eight state governments including UP, Gujarat, Punjab and Karnataka may get an extension to their term in office by 1-2 years.

However, on the other hand, in states like Bihar, West Bengal, J&K and Tamil Nadu, the assembly polls may be advanced to be clubbed with 2019 genral elections.

The panel was headed by state Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh with ex-chief information commissioner Vijai Sharma, former UP chief electoral officer Anuj Kumar Bishnoi, ex-vice-chancellor of Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University Prof Balraj Chauhan as some of the members.

The decision to consider December 31, 2021 as the ‘logical date,’ was reportedly taken as it happens to be the middle point between June 4, 2019, and June 3, 2024, when the tenures of current and next
Lok Sabha end.

As per the recommendations of the 23-page report, in order to hold simultaneous elections to Assemblies and Lok Sabha, while the terms of some state assemblies would have to be curtailed, it would need to be extended in some other.

However, speaking to media about the report, cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that it was high time for the parties to look beyond political interests and allow a pragmatic reform.

Singh said that the suggestions would bring elections right up to the level of urban local bodies elections under one umbrella by 2029.

Suggesting to link the voter lists with Aadhar, the report also recommends to have common electoral rolls for Lok Sabha, assembly and local bodies’ elections.

The report evoked sharp reactions from political quarters. SP leader and Leader of Opposition, Ram Govind Chaudhary termed it an ‘illegal suggestion’.

While a senior SP leader found it a design of the state government to get an extension of two years beyond 2022 if the UP Assembly polls would be clubbed with 2024 general elections, A BSP leader, on
condition of anonymity, said that any such reform could be brought about only through constitutional amendment.

A senior Congress leader called the recommendations against the essence of democracy.

States with tenure ending before December 31, 2021
Assam — May 31, 2021
Bihar — November 29, 2020
Jammu & Kashmir — March 16, 2021
Jharkhand — January 5, 2020
Kerala — June 1, 2021
NCT Delhi — February 22, 2020
Puducherry — June, 8, 2021
Tamil Nadu — May 25, 2021
West Bengal — May 30, 2021

State to get extended term
Goa — March 15, 2022
Gujarat — February 18, 2023
Himachal Pradesh — January 8, 2023
Manipur — March 19, 2022
Uttar Pradesh — May 14, 2022
Uttarakhand — March 23, 2022
Punjab — March 27, 2022
Karnataka — May, 2023

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