A Parliamentary panel pitches for holding of simultaneous election in the near future

New Delhi : A Parliamentary Committee has made a strong pitch for the holding of simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections all over the country, suggesting that it can be done in the near future.

But most of the political parties which responded to the Standing Committee’s questionnaire have said the idea is a “noble” one but “difficult to implement”.

The panel said that the “proposed first phase” of the combined polls could be held in November, 2016.

“The Committee does not feel that simultaneous elections in every five years cannot be held in the near future but slowly it would reach in stages for which tenure of some of the state legislative assemblies need to be curtailed or extended,” the Standing Committee on Law and Personnel said in its report, ‘Feasibility of holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies’.       The report was tabled in Parliament today.

While as per electoral law, elections can be held six months prior to the end of the term of a House, the term of the House cannot be extended except during proclamation of Emergency. The committee has recommended an “alternative and practicable method” of holding simultaneous elections which involves the holding of polls in two phases. The panel has envisaged the holding of elections of some Assemblies at the mid-term period of the Lok Sabha and the remaining with the end of tenure of the Lok Sabha.

It said the “proposed first  phase” could be held in November, 2016. Elections to all state Assemblies whose terms end prior to or after a time period of six months to one year from the appointed election date can be clubbed together.

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