The Law Commission is likely to recommend a legal framework for simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, favouring Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “One Nation, One Election” proposal. “We were not asked whether we support it or not,” an unidentified official told PTI. “We were asked to provide the way ahead. We will do that.”
The panel is expected to recommend amendments to the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act, and the Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies to ensure simultaneous polls. The recommendations will not be binding on the government but the report will allow an informed debate among political parties and stakeholders, the official said.
The proposals will be part of the final report that the panel will submit to the government before its term ends on August 31, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The commission is expected to float a draft of the report internally and give its members at least 10 days to respond and discuss the proposals.
Unidentified officials confirmed to the daily that the commission has heard from various political parties on the matter. If the proposal is implemented, Assembly and general elections may be held in two phases.
In April, the Law Commission issued a draft white paper suggesting that the 2019 General Elections be held in conjunction with the Assembly polls scheduled for the following year. The elections in the other states could be held close to the 2024 General Elections, it proposed. The panel also said that the prime minister and chief ministers should be elected by the Lok Sabha or state legislatures. If a government falls mid-term, the term of the new government will be for the remaining period “and not for a fresh five-year term”, it suggested.
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Tuesday said it was not possible to hold simultaneous elections without a legal framework to support it. Rawat’s statement came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party pushed for simultaneous elections and called for a “healthy and open debate” among stakeholders.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about the idea on several occasions. President Ram Nath Kovind, too, in his address on the first day of Parliament’s Budget Session, urged political parties to reach a consensus on the matter.