Simultaneous polls: AIADMK to support it, but with a rider

The Party wants the big change to begin from 2024 elections, not next year’s.

Published: 07th July 2018 04:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th July 2018 04:17 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: With the two-day consultative meeting on holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, convened by the Election Commission in New Delhi, beginning on Saturday, the ruling AIADMK has decided to reiterate the decision taken by the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa - to extend support for the idea in principle, but with a condition - let the big change begin from 2024 Lok Sabha elections and not from elections to Lok Sabha next year.

“We go by what our Amma said. We welcome simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. But, time is very insufficient to implement that big change from 2019.  So, the AIADMK will convey to the Election Commission that let simultaneous elections be held from 2024,” a top leader of the AIADMK told Express.

This assumes significance in the wake of expectations that elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly could be clubbed with 2019 Lok Sabha elections.  Now, the AIADMK has made it clear that the party wants to complete its full term till 2021 for which it has electoral mandate and do not want to cut the term.  

While DMK and VCK had already gone on record against the idea, other parties are expected to spell out their stand on this issue during the two day consultative meeting convened by the Election Commission on July 7 and 8 at New Delhi. On behalf of AIADMK, two leaders, including Law Minister are to take part in the meeting.

In 2015, the AIADMK, in its memorandum submitted to the parliamentary standing committee headed by Sudarsana Natchiappan on holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, extended its support to the idea in principle.

However, the AIADMK highlighted some key issues which would have to be resolved before such a practice can be adopted. Referring to the system in United Kingdom, the AIADMK had referred to the Fixed Term Parliament Act, 2011 in the UK, where the elections have been fixed for every five years and the elections can be held prior to this period only if  two-thirds of the majority of House of Commons vote for fresh elections or the government falls due to a vote of no confidence and another government cannot pass a confidence motion within 14 days.

The AIADMK had also said having simultaneous elections in the country would mean that both the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies should first be given a fixed term.  Together with the fixed term, fixed dates of election and counting should also be announced as in the case of presidential election in the United States to enable political parties to prepare themselves well for the polls.   The party also said the dates should not be left to the whims of the Election Commission, which  suddenly call a press meet and announces the election schedule, from which time the model code of conduct comes into force.

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