Practical approach towards holding elections together in India
Prime Minister Modi mooted the idea of holding all elections in the country together. The idea is very noble and has been proposed earlier too. As suggested by many, if it is implemented it will save a lot of resources and time.
However, implementation of this idea will require huge political consensus, synergy between Central Govt., State Govt. and Election Commission of India and given the current scenario that day seems too far.
Here is a more practical approach which can be implemented. Assembly elections of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will be conducted simultaneously with General Elections of 2019, if all respective governments completes their tenure.
In 2018, during Nov-Dec states of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram will go for polls tentatively which is some 6 months prior to General Elections. Similarly, around six months later i.e. March-April states of Jharkhand, Maharastra, Haryana will go for polls.
So, if consensus evolves among major political parties of the states mentioned above; assembly elections can be postponed by 6 months for some and preponed by 6 months for rest and can be conducted together with General Elections of 2019.
Since, most of these states is ruled by NDA, the consensus should emerge without much difficulty. This will result in simultaneous assembly election of 12 states with General Elections, 2019. This will not only save huge resources and time but also provide more time for development programmes and activities of governments which comes to halt due to model code of conduct.
On similar lines, assembly election of Bihar can be clubbed with those of TN, Kerala, Assam, WB, Pondicherry by postponing it by 6 months. Similarly, if the gap between various state assembly elections are not more than 6 months, efforts should be put to hold them together.
It seems to be a very practical approach and can be implemented without much difficulty. For, reaching at wider political consensus this idea should be proposed atleast a year or two prior to end of tenure of respective governments in these states.
IIT Roorkee Alumnus. My mantra for life is: ‘In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is Simplicity ..!’