BJP supports holding simultaneous Lok Sabha, state polls

16 Jun 2016 | By Nandita

The proposal for holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies got a fresh push from the BJP.

In order to save precious time and money spent on election campaigns, the suggestion was raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A written approval was given to the Standing Committee on Law & Justice by BJP President Amit Shah for holding elections together.

In context: Simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha, state assemblies

Earlier instances of simultaneous elections

First general elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies held together in 1951-52. It continued in three subsequent general elections held in the years: 1957,1962 & 1967.The cycle got disrupted due to the premature dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies.

Simultaneous electionsSimultaneous Polls: How and why?

Elections to state assemblies whose terms end six months before or six months-one year from the appointed election date can hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

Holding simultaneous elections in an "alternative and practicable method" involves holding of polls in two phases.

Conducting simultaneous elections is expected to reduce the overall expenditure of election.

Simultaneous elections may also improve the voting percentage.

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Mixed response to proposal

ResponsesMixed response to proposal

The proposal to hold simultaneous general and assembly elections drew a mixed response from opposition parties.

Several parties, including AIADMK, AGP, IUML, DMDK and the SAD supported the idea of simultaneous polling; however, they also made several suggestions to amend the proposed procedure.

The Congress vehemently opposed the idea, calling it "impractical, unworkable and can lead to a imbalance in Indian Democracy".

Opposition on Simultaneous Elections

Congress Leader Mallikarjun Kharge lambasted the BJP's suggestion saying, "they (the Centre) are not even saving democracy and are neither protecting the Constitution, but are talking of holding elections to both Lok Sabha and state assemblies (simultaneously)."

8 Jun 2016Election Commission favours holding elections together: Report

A letter was sent by the Election Commission to the Law Ministry, indicating its readiness to conduct parliamentary and state polls together.

PM Modi recently proposed holding concurrent polls for panchayats, urban local bodies, states and the Parliament.

Rs.4,500 crores were estimated for holding elections to Lok Sabha and assemblies.

The idea was floated by the BJP informally at an all-party meet.

16 Jun 2016BJP supports holding simultaneous Lok Sabha, state polls