Election Commission, Law Commission likely to discuss simultaneous polls next week

The meeting comes days after the law panel issued a working paper outlining a schedule for holding simultaneous elections.

Published: 09th May 2018 02:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2018 07:00 AM   |  A+A-

EVM, Voting

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has invited the Law Commission chairman and other top officials for a meeting on May 16 to discuss holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Sources said the meeting would discuss the legal issues concerning holding of synchronised polls.

The meeting comes days after the law panel issued a working paper outlining a schedule for holding simultaneous elections.

The EC had earlier endorsed the idea of holding the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together, but had pointed out that it’s an expensive proposition and would require legal framework to be put in place first, which means carrying out necessary constitutional amendments and changes in the Representation of the People Act (RPA).

The law panel paper said elections to the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies could be held in two phases beginning 2019, provided at least two provisions of the Constitution were amended and ratified by a majority of the states. Some provisions of the RPA would also have to be amended by a simple majority in Parliament, it said.

Sources said constitutional amendments would be needed to curtail or extend, as may be the case, the terms of certain state Assemblies in order to hold simultaneous polls.

According to the working paper, the second phase of simultaneous polls could take place in 2024.
The law panel has sought the views of constitutional experts, political parties and other stakeholders before finalising its report.

Following PM Narendra Modi’s strong pitch for simultaneous elections, the law ministry had recently suggested consideration of the issue from the legal and the logistical angles. The first would involve amendments to constitutional provisions and the RPA whereas the latter aspect would deal with the issues of logistics, infrastructure and finances.

The poll panel has already made it clear that it would be ready with the necessary infrastructure if the simultaneous polls are held.

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