Reboot Indian polity: simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections

Analysis of simultaneous elections: the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’, a discussion paper by Bibek Debroy and Kishore Desai Nov. 26, 2016

Executive Summary

In terms of implementation, the note suggests workable solutions a summary of which is given below:

Relevant Issues Proposed solutions Possible date of implementing simultaneous elections

election

Elections impact everyone in the entire country – citizens, businesses, administrative machinery, constitutional institutions, political parties, leaders and so on. Eventual implementation of this measure would not only require significant Constitutional and Statutory amendments, it would also require significant consensus amongst the key stakeholders. Without a general consensus and wider acceptance, its intent and efficacy could be compromised. The Constitution does provide sufficient room to make amendments to suit the changing times and needs of the country. This flexibility is not just an enabling tool but in fact a responsibility on Governments to provide the best governance systems, processes and opportunities to its citizens.

As a way forward, it is therefore suggested that a focused group of stakeholders comprising constitution and subject matter experts, think tanks, government officials and representatives of various political parties come together and work out appropriate implementation related details. This may include drafting appropriate constitution and statutory amendments, agreeing on a workable framework to facilitate transition to simultaneous elections, developing a stakeholder communication plan etc. As is the case with long-term structural reforms, implementing this measure would also cause some short-term pain. However, this would be a stepping stone towards improved governance and a larger initiation of “electoral reforms” – a desperately needed measure to re-boot the Indian polity.

Full text  http://niti.gov.in/writereaddata/files/document_publication/Note%20on%20Simultaneous%20Elections.pdf

S. Kalyanaraman, Sarasvati Research Centre, Nov. 26, 2016

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