The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Sunday announced that they favoured the idea of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies.
Ramgopal Yadav, SP member of the Rajya Sabha, backed the “one nation, one election” initiative, saying it should begin in 2019.
“The SP is in favour of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies. This process of simultaneous election should be implemented from the 2019 elections,” said Yadav at a meeting convened by the Law Commission.
“In case one party does not get full majority in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies and a few of the parties approach the President or Governor with the list of Lok Sabha/legislative members’ to form a coalition government, then the President/Governors should ask all the parties in that coalition for an oath letter which specifies that they will have to work together for the period,” Yadav said.
A letter circulated on behalf of the SP said: “If one party in the coalition government separates itself, then the law should empower the speaker to end the association of that party and all the members.”
“It has been observed that even after months of someone changing sides, the speaker does not take action. That’s why there should be a provision in law in which the speaker is bound to give a decision on someone who changes side within a month.
“If a government falls within three years of its election, and if there is no scope of a new government forming there, then the election for that state should be held for two years so that elections could be held at time,” the letter added.
The TRS backed the initiative to save a lot of time and prevent wasteful expenditure.
B. Vinod Kumar of the TRS said: “Our party President and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao said we are strongly in favour of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies so that the elected government at the Centre and state level could function appropriately for the elected period of five years without wasting time in elections across the country.
“This can save lot of money, time and wasteful expenditure… The Chief Ministers and Prime Minister can also function for the period of five years without disturbance.”
On Saturday, parties including the Trinamool Congress, AIADMK, Goa Forward Party and the Communist Party of India (CPI) opposed the proposal saying that it was against the Constitution and would dilute regional interests.
The Law Commission has invited all the national and recognised state political parties to hold consultations on Saturday and Sunday on the issue.
It prepared a draft paper on “Simultaneous Elections – Constitutional and Legal Perspectives” and has sought opinions of “all stakeholders” including political parties, constitutional experts, bureaucrats, academia and others on the paper before finalising its report and sending it to the government.
The Election Commission has repeatedly said it was capable of holding simultaneous elections provided the legal framework and logistics were in place.
Most of the political parties have, however, not warmed up to the idea citing various reasons besides arguing that it would not be good for democracy.