EC, law panel likely to discuss simultaneous polls next week

EC, law panel likely to discuss simultaneous polls next week

New Delhi: The Election Commission and the Law Commission are likely to hold a brainstorming session next week on the road ahead for holding the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together. The poll panel has invited law panel chief Justice BS Chauhan (retd) and other top officials to discuss the issue on May 16.
“Yes, we will discuss the issue of simultaneous polls with the EC as they are the ones who are mandated to hold elections,” said a law panel official.
The planned meeting comes days after the Law Commission issued a working paper on simultaneous polls. The law panel said simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies could be held in two phases beginning 2019, provided at least two provisions of the Constitution were amended and ratified by a majority of the states.
Some provisions of the Representation of the People Act would also have to be amended by a simple majority in Parliament, it said.
According to the working paper, the second phase of simultaneous polls could take place in 2024.
The document has proposed amending the Constitution (Articles 83 (2) and 172 (1) dealing with tenures of the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies) and the Representation of the People Act to extend the terms of state legislative Assemblies to effect the move. It suggests that in case a government falls mid-term, the new government would be elected for the remaining period of that term, and not for a fresh five-year rule. “As an abundant caution and in order to avoid a challenge (in the courts) to amendments on the grounds of not having obtained ratification by majority of the states, such ratification could be obtained for the proposed (constitutional) amendment,”.