Kovind Panel Suggests Simultaneous Polls for LS, LB

1 min read
Ram Nath Kovind panel

The high-level committee on one nation one election on Thursday recommended holding elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies together as a first step, with municipal corporation and panchayat elections to be synchronised later.

The panel, chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind, presented its report to President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday morning, after which it published its report on its website.

In order to synchronise the terms of the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, the committee recommended adding a new Article to the Constitution, Article 82A, which would say that the term of all Legislative Assemblies constituted after the appointed date, which would be notified as the date of the first sitting of the Lok Sabha after the general election, would come to an end on the expiry of the full term of the Lok Sabha.

In case any State Assembly is dissolved due to a no-confidence motion, a hung House or any other event, fresh elections would be held for the remainder of the term ending with that of the Lok Sabha. The committee recommended that Article 325 of the Constitution be amended to enable preparation of a single electoral roll and single Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) by the Election Commission of India, in consultation with the State Election Commissions.

To enable municipal and panchayat elections to be held simultaneously with the others, the committee recommended an Article 324A, which says that Parliament may make a law to ensure that elections to municipalities and panchayats be held together with General Elections.

“Certainty is important for decisions central to good governance which leads to faster development. On the other hand, uncertainty invariably leads to policy paralysis. The recommendations of the HLC which inter alia include synchronisation of elections in all three tiers of government, namely the House of the People, the State Legislative Assemblies, Municipalities and the Panchayats, serve to forge an improved architecture of the governance,” the report said.

The committee, set up on September 2, 2023, included Home Minister Amit Shah, former Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Finance Commission chairperson NK Singh, former Lok Sabha secretary-general Subhash C Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)