Law Panel Works On Draft To Conduct Simultaneous Assembly Polls In 19 States In 2019
The Law Commission has started preparing a draft recommending simultaneous elections in 2019, according to a report by The New Indian Express. The draft accessed by The New Indian Express proposed to create two clusters of states. One cluster can go to polls in 2019 and the other in 2024.
The first cluster includes 19 states and union territories. Cluster-I include Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, and Jammu and Kashmir which are due for assembly elections in 2021. Cluster- II include Uttar Pradesh, which is due for elections in 2022. It also includes Karnataka and Mizoram, which are due to conduct elections in 2018.
“To synchronise Cluster-II Assembly elections with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the terms of the respective state assemblies need to be extended, which would require amending the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act (1951). If due to some reason the terms of state assemblies cannot be extended, then elections in the Cluster-II states may be held about 30 months after Phase-1 of simultaneous polls in 2019,” the report recommended.
Earlier in March 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that conducting state assembly and Lok Sabha polls together would save money and time. Niti Aayog has also circulated a paper regarding the possibility of conducting simultaneous polls. The government had a discussion with all the political parties and Election Commission. While some favoured the idea, some parties rejected the concept pointing out the difficulty in implementation.