The Law Commission of India has submitted its draft report favouring holding of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies. "Time has come for India to revert to simultaneous elections in the greater national interest", the Commission observed in the draft report.
According to the Commission, enabling a voter to cast his or her vote for electing members to the Central and state governments on the same day would "save public money, help reducing the burden on administrative set-up and security forces and will ensure better implementation of government policies on time and the administrative machinery of the country will be continuously engaged in developmental activities rather than in electioneering".
It also noticed that holding simultaneous elections is not possible within the existing framework of the Constitution and suggested ‘inevitable constitutional amendments’.
Though the Commission endorsed the idea in principle, it acknowledged that further discussions in the matter was required to evolve a "workable formula".
"In view of the complexity of the issues involved, it is desirable to have further discussions and examination on the matter, involving all the stakeholders, once again, before making final recommendations to the Government", it stated while submitting the draft recommendation in public domain.
It put forward three options for achieving the idea, and called for "a healthy and sustainable debate on the issue". The options suggested by the Commission are :
As a first option, elections to 12 State Assemblies and one Union Territory (with legislature), could be synchronised with the elections to the House of the People in the year 2019.
The commission also said that even though the proposed constitutional amendments do not fall within the purview of Proviso to clause (2) of Article 368, the government may seek ratification by not less than one-half of the states as an abundant caution.
The commission has also made five important suggestions: