Law panel holds talks on simultaneous polls

Law panel holds talks on simultaneous polls

The Law Commission on Saturday started deliberations with political parties on the proposition of simultaneous Parliament and Assembly polls as all of them, except the Shiromani Akali Dal and AIADMK, opposed it for being against the federal structure.

Representatives of as many as six political parties, including the TMC, CPI and the AIADMK, presented their views before the commission.

TMC MP and senior advocate Kalyan Banerjee asked if the government at the Centre falls for some reasons, should all state assemblies be also dissolved.

He said it is undemocratic and impractical.

"Let us assume that the Centre and all states hold elections simultaneously in 2019. If a coalition government is formed at the Centre and that loses the majority, then will elections be re-conducted for all states along with the Centre? It is impractical, not possible and contrary to the Constitution. Democracy and government should be given priority. The financial issue is secondary, the first priority is the Constitution and democracy. Constitution has to be upheld," he said.

CPI leader Atul Kumar Anjan said the idea was against the very basic structure of the Constitution.

"It cannot be considered under the present system. The Constitution has to be amended to allow it," he said, adding that the matter did not fall under the domain of the Law Commission.

Goa Forward Party, an alliance partner of the NDA, also rejected the proposal of holding simultaneous polls. Party leader Vijay Sardesai said the concept was not tenable.

Another ruling party ally at the Centre, SAD's leader Naresh Gujral supported the proposal, saying it would drastically reduce the election expenditure on the exchequer.

The huge money, thus saved could be used for developmental purposes, he said, adding, there are some bottlenecks which have to be removed for it get implemented.

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu also supported it, saying the party was in principle agreeable to it but it must be implemented after 2021 when the present term of Assembly ends.

The commission will hold discussions with other political parties on Sunday and Tuesday.


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