Former President Ramnath Kovind | File photo
Former President Ramnath Kovind | File photo

Kovind Panel to consult all stakeholders on feasibility of simultaneous elections

According to a source privy to the meeting, the committee is trying to complete its report before the start of the winter session of Parliament.

NEW DELHI:  The high-level committee led by former president Ram Nath Kovind on ‘One Nation, One Election’, which met for the first time on Saturday, has decided to seek suggestions from all political parties and experts on the feasibility of the concept.

It was decided that the committee will seek views of the Law Commission and the Election Commission of India as well on the legal nitty-gritty of conducting elections simultaneously to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, municipalities and panchayats.

According to a source privy to the meeting, the committee is trying to complete its report before the start of the winter session of Parliament. The Modi government had issued a formal notification on September 2 that an eight-member committee was formed to examine and make recommendations at the earliest on holding simultaneous elections.

At Saturday’s meeting, the roadmap and other modalities of completing the task were discussed. The Centre will move further based on the committee’s report. 

At the meeting, the committee decided to invite suggestions from recognised national parties, parties having governments in states and their representatives in Parliament. 

“The ground work is going at full throttle and recommendations on the subject would be made to the government as early as possible,” said a source.

Reportedly, the committee’s most important task would be to analyse and recommend possible solutions to possible scenarios such as a hung house, the adoption of a no-confidence motion, defections or similar events when simultaneous elections are conducted in the country. The panel also discussed ways to ensure the continuity of the cycle of elections.

Home minister Amit Shah, law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, former leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former finance commission chairman N K Singh, former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash C Kashyap and former chief vigilance commissioner Sanjay Kothari attended the meeting. Advocate Harish Salve joined the meeting virtually. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was not present.

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