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Elections in India UPSC NOTE

 What are the various benefits of holding Lok Sabha and State elections at the same time?

  • A High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by Ramnath Kovind, former President of India, was constituted in September 2023 to examine the issue of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies and local bodies of all States. 

  • The HLC has invited responses from political parties, the Law Commission and other groups on the proposal to hold simultaneous elections.

  • During the first four general election cycles in 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967, the elections to the Lok Sabha and State legislative assemblies were held simultaneously

  • However, due to the subsequent premature dissolution of the Lok Sabha on seven occasions and the premature dissolution of legislative assemblies on various occasions.

  • The elections to the Lok Sabha and various State assemblies are held at different times. 

  • In 2019, only four States had their assembly elections, along with the Lok Sabha. 

  • The idea of simultaneous elections has been mooted in the past by the Election Commission of India (1982) and the Law Commission (1999).

How would simultaneous elections go against the federal character of the Constitution?

  • The desirability of simultaneous elections can be discussed from the perspectives of cost, governance, administrative convenience and social cohesion. 

  • Firstly, it is estimated that the cost of holding general elections to the Lok Sabha is around ₹4,000 crore for the Central government. 

  • Each State assembly election would also cost considerable amount of money according to the size of the State. 

  • While this is the official expenditure of the government, the expenditure by parties and candidates are manifold times higher.

  • Simultaneous elections would entail a reduction in these costs.

  • Secondly, there are at least 5-6 State elections that happen every year

  • This results in political parties, including Ministers, being in ‘permanent campaign’ mode, which acts as a hindrance to policy making and governance. 

  • Further, the Model Code of Conduct that is enforced during the election process ranges usually from 45-60 days where no new schemes

or projects can be announced by the Centre and concerned State governments.

  • Third, administrative machinery in the districts slow down during the election period with the primary focus being the conduct of elections.

  • There are also paramilitary forces that are withdrawn from the locations in which they are posted and deployed to the concerned State for the smooth conduct of elections

  • Frequent elections every year have an impact on administrative efficiency.

  • Lastly but very importantly, high-stake elections each year in various States result in polarising campaigns by all parties in order to win the elections. 

  • This trend has exacerbated in the last decade with the advent of social media thereby creating and deepening the fissures in our multi-religious and multilingual country.

What are international practices on the same in other Parliamentary democracies?

  • It may be noted that Parliamentary democracies like South Africa, Sweden and Germany have fixed tenures for their legislatures. 

  • The elections to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures happen simultaneously in South Africa every five years.

  •  The President of the country being elected by the National Assembly

  • The Prime Minister of Sweden and the Chancellor of Germany are elected by their respective legislatures every four years

  • A lack of confidence against the German Chancellor can be moved only by electing a successor.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Elections in India UPSC NOTE
Elections in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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