Nitish nod to simultaneous LS-VS polls, but no 2019 elections
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar asserted that he would back PM Modi's idea of "one nation one election." Modi has been very vocal about having simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. As per EC, the roadmap is such that by 2024, this should be achieved. However, Nitish suggests an important rider for his approval of the idea. Read on to know what that is.
India's founders favored simultaneous LS and VS elections. The first general election and state assembly elections were held simultaneously in 1951-52. This continued for subsequent elections in 1957, 1962 and 1967. However, in 1967, under the Constitution's Article 356, central rule was imposed in some states leading to the dissolution of state assemblies. This broke the cycle of simultaneous elections.
If Centre-state elections are held simultaneously, it will save expenses, not only for the government's supervisory and security provisions but also for the election process itself. There will be continuity in governance as the Model Code of Conduct disrupts economic policies and developmental projects.
Though Bihar Assembly elections are scheduled for 2020, state JD (U) president Basistha Singh had said the party is ready for snap polls in 2019 and approved "the idea of holding simultaneous elections for all constitutional bodies". However, Nitish dismissed reports the party was gearing up for 2019 polls. Backing simultaneous elections, he asserted snap polls aren't happening in 2019.
Nitish said that a "new statute" is required to ensure "the completion of the five-year tenure of a state government so that it gets adequate time to deliver upon the people's expectations." He further asserted that this will ensure "simultaneous elections in perpetuity."