Political parties were divided on the issue of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections during consultations with the Law Commission of India.
As many as nine parties expressed their reservations while four parties supported the move.
The two major national parties — the BJP and the Congress — stayed away from the Law Commission’s deliberations.
Simultaneous elections: Why is it a good idea?
- This will help save public money.
- It will be a big relief for political parties that are always in campaign mode.
- It will allow political parties to focus more on policy and governance.
Need for simultaneous elections:
Elections are held all the time and continuous polls lead to a lot of expenditure. More than Rs1,100 crore was spent on the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and the expenditure had shot up to Rs4,000 crore in 2014.
Over a crore government employees, including a large number of teachers, are involved in the electoral process. Thus, the continuous exercise causes maximum harm to the education sector.
Security forces also have to be diverted for the electoral work even as the country’s enemy keeps plotting against the nation and terrorism remains a strong threat.
The time is ripe for a constructive debate on electoral reforms and a return to the practice of the early decades after Independence when elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies were held simultaneously. It is for the Election Commission to take this exercise forward in consultation with political parties.