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Q. Challenges to hold elections simultaneously: Discuss the challenges to hold elections to Loksabha and all state assemblies simultaneously.
Jun 09, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently Election Commission of India has submitted its report to the union law ministry about the idea of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies. Despite various challenges it supported the idea of holding simultaneous elections.

Background-


Six months before parliamentary standing committee of Law and Justice was recommended for the idea of simultaneous elections to the Loksabha and legislative assemblies and it sought its opinion of election commission of India in this regard.

Challenges to hold elections simultaneously-

  • Holding elections of Loksabha and state assemblies requires huge infrastructural, logistical support. Presently Election Commission (EC) does not have such large scale infrastructural and logistical support.

  • Such an exercise will require large-scale purchase of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. It needs huge financial support. Moreover, the machines will have to be replaced every 15 years which would again entail more expenditure.

  • Similarly EC will also need more central armed forces personnel for deployment at polling booths at the time of elections.

  • The government will have to amend the Constitution to either curtail or extend the term of some of the state Assemblies to enable the EC to draw up a common poll schedule. All political parties have to be on board to and pass a constitutional amendment to this effect.

Conclusion-

Though holding simultaneous elections to Loksabha and state assemblies have various benefits, but it also comes with various challenges. Although it is very tough task, but not an impossible one. An entire mechanism like infrastructural, logistical, financial etc will have to be put in place before such undertaking such huge exercise.

Related article- http://www.drishtiias.com/editorial-analysis-Holding-all-elections-simultaneously


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