SIMULTANEOUS POLLS: POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ASPECTS
Election in a democratic country like India is similar to a Political Carnival. In addition to that, when the PM announced his support for conducting simultaneous elections in the country, it undoubtedly would intensify the hustle. Conducting elections of Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies at the same time after five years is what the concept of Simultaneous Polls implies. With its implementation in the upcoming elections, it becomes highly vital for all to know its possible pros and cons; as it is now serving a one of the most debatable area.
• Favorable in Economic Consideration of a Nation:
Each Election comes with a huge budget with it for its campaigning and promotion of the associated political parties to ensure their victory. Holding simultaneous elections clearly eliminates most of the expenditure of elections compared to differentiated elections in a country. Thus, it serves a good deal in healing a nation’s deficit.
• Frees up the Security Department for Longer Duration:
Peaceful, smooth and unbiased conduction of elections demand allocation of a tight security, engaging a large number of Police and Armed Forces. Polls carried out frequently would, hence, keep the security department of the nation bound, deploying it. This results in loosening of their hold over other serious matters outside elections.
• Assist in Surpassing Political Duties:
Not only the security department gets engaged, but the political parties also tend to deviate from their duties, as their complete focus shifts on the campaigning. Each year if some or the elections are held, this would lead to the members of the political parties to have their eye on the polls rather than performing their duties. Therefore, if the elections are carries out in the same year, it frees the Government and the concerned members to accomplish their manifestations, where they can dedicate their efforts solely on their duties; leading to a better synchronization between MPs and MLAs.
• Bolster Governance and Administrative Concerns:
It is an undeniable fact that elections foster malpractices. With the black money circulating in the market, officials forgo their responsibilities. Moreover, imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections hinders the scheduled tasks and hence obstacles the mechanism. Imposition of prolonged MCC leads to policy paralysis. Simultaneous polls would diminish the election duties and assist smooth carrying out of the duties.
• Other Positive Aspects:
Simultaneous elections would lead to lesser disruptions, as each political campaigning comprises of several rallies and speeches leading to traffic jams and noise pollution. It would, further, assist in having a clear governance, leading to lesser complications in polity.
• Political Issues:
Simultaneous polls may lead to a complicated amalgam of the national and regional issues. They may further result in increased confusion among citizen of whom to vote and may opt for a party they might not want to vote for. They would tend to opt for same party for both state and center, which might not be the case in separate elections. In addition to this, frequent elections keep the political parties on their toes, which might not the case for the Simultaneous Elections.
• Hindrance in Operation:
Depending on the population size and the geographical extent of a country, logistical, security and man power demand vary for any election. In order to carry out simultaneous polls, there arises requirement of a massive team to manage and carry them out smoothly. Furthermore, it demands more number of EVMs, which may not be feasible.
• Obstacles in execution:
Elections of Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies are carried out after 5 years. In case of dissolution, it disturbs the chain of simultaneous elections. The possible reasons for dissolution are:
1. a no-confidence motion is passed against the council of ministers and no other party or coalition commands a majority in the house to form the government.
2. the Prime Minister (or the Chief Minister) recommends the President (or the Governor) to prematurely dissolve the house and calls for early elections.
3. the state is under President’s rule under Article 356, President may dissolve the assembly.
Hemce, it becomes highly vital to target the gap and opt for the possible ways. As per the Section 14(2) and 15(2) of Representation of People Act, 1951 Election Commission (EC) can issue election notification at max six months prior to the expiry of the normal term of the house (in case of no premature dissolution). This acts as the biggest challenge in executing simultaneous polls.
• Other Negative Aspects:
Ethical Dilemma may be created due to simultaneous polls, as it leads to increase in hustle among the people and may mislead them in taking such an important decision. Moreover, separate elections bring more work opportunities for people, which is an absent factor in case of simultaneous polls.
Elections affect everyone in a country from poor to rich, from business to international relations. So for its successful implementation, a wider acceptance is necessary. With all the possible amendments a smooth carrying out of polls is perhaps possible.
SIMULTANEOUS POLLS: POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ASPECTS