Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 19 June, held an all-party meet, primarily to deliberate upon the ‘one nation, one election’ agenda.
While many Opposition leaders including Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee did not attend the meeting, the Centre suggested the formation of a committee to give suggestions on the matter.
But are simultaneous polls feasible in India? And even if they are feasible, how ill it be conceptualised and implemented?
Former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat told the BloombergQuint the road to hold simultaneous polls is a long, arduous one.
“Whatever amendments to Representation of the People Act are required, should be made. Apart from that, adequate provisions should be made for procuring enough EVMS and VVPATs. Deployment of central paramilitary forces and polling personnel should also be in place. Only then can EC can hold simultaneous elections without any problem.”OP Rawat, Former CEC
According to the current law, the EC should start the election process six months before the House expires. However, for simultaneous polls to become a reality, this needs to be amended, said Rawat. He also pointed that the EC should make recommendations to cater to other eventualities.
‘Confidence Motion Along with the No Confidence One’
The former EC chief said that the Commission proposed that confidence motion should be mandatorily passed along with no confidence motion.
“Through this, the new government can be hoisted after the one in place falls. There is no vacuum in this case,” Rawat said.
Rawat also added that two important electoral reforms that he would like to see are the ones that focus on prevention of abuse of money, social media and use of big data analytics.