Petition in Apex Court seeking polls in winter

Petition in Apex Court seeking polls in winter

Move will ensure higher voter participation and reduce expenses

 A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia will hear the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Avishek Goenka, who claimed that holding the elections in winters would help in reducing the problems connected with electronic voting machines (EVMs) as well.

Besides, the problems likely to come up during electioneering in summers would also be avoided, it said.

“India is a nation with equatorial climate with 80 per cent of land area commanding 95 per cent of population experiencing both intense heat and rains between April to September. The 80 per cent of the land area experiences winter which is very similar to spring-like weather of European nations.”

“Out of 71 crores voting population in 2009, only 1.68 crores were residing in the relatively hilly states of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh,” the petition said, making a case for holding all elections during the winter season. Analysing the data provided by the Election Commission (EC), the petition also pointed out that the average cost during the summer season was higher and voters’ participation less than during winter.

The data of the elections held since 1952 to 2004 revealed the average gross cost of summer election was higher by Rs 681 crore while average voting during winter was higher by 1.90 per cent. It also mentioned that one per cent incremental increase would result in higher voting by more than crores of voters.

According to the petition, since the maximum time gap between two sessions of the legislative Assembly or Parliament should not be more than six months and the EC has the power to announce elections before the five-year  of the house, an election scheduled in April can very well be held in the months of January and February.

Normal time span to conduct elections is 30 days, the period between January 16 and February 15 is the best time to hold elections because in January the plains experience spring-like weather of European countries.

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