Law Commission Aims to Synchronize State Assembly Polls with Lok Sabha Elections by 2029

Law Commission Aims to Synchronize State Assembly Polls with Lok Sabha Elections by 2029
Law Commission Aims to Synchronize State Assembly Polls with Lok Sabha Elections by 2029
Law Commission Aims to Synchronize State Assembly Polls with Lok Sabha Elections by 2029
Law Commission Aims to Synchronize State Assembly Polls with Lok Sabha Elections by 2029

Law Commission Aims to Synchronize State Assembly Polls with Lok Sabha Elections by 2029

Law Commission Aims to Synchronize State Assembly Polls with Lok Sabha Elections by 2029

Simultaneous Polls on the Horizon

The Law Commission is currently formulating a strategy to align all state assembly elections with Lok Sabha polls by either extending or reducing their tenure, with the goal of achieving synchronized elections starting in 2029, according to sources. This move is part of the government’s larger effort to explore the possibility of simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha, state assemblies, and local bodies.

Including Local Body Elections

In addition to coordinating national and state-level elections, the Law Commission may also be tasked with integrating local body elections into its mandate. This would involve developing a mechanism to establish a unified electoral roll for Lok Sabha, state assemblies, and local bodies. Such a roll would reduce costs and streamline the manpower required for electoral processes, currently managed by the Election Commission and various state election commissions.

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Pending Report

The Law Commission’s report on simultaneous elections is still in progress, as certain issues remain unresolved. To facilitate synchronized polls, the Commission, led by Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, may propose adjustments to the tenure of legislative assemblies.

Efficiency and Voter Convenience

Efforts are being made to ensure that when Lok Sabha and assembly elections are synchronized, voters will only need to visit polling stations once to cast their ballots for both elections. Given that assembly and parliamentary elections are conducted in phases, the Commission is working on the logistics to ensure that voters do not need to visit polling stations multiple times during the two polls.

Expanding the Commission’s Mandate

While the Law Commission’s current mandate is to explore the synchronization of assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the high-level committee under former President Ram Nath Kovind is tasked with recommending how Lok Sabha, assembly, and local body elections (panchayat, municipalities, zila parishad) can be held simultaneously. The Law Commission’s scope may be expanded to include local body elections along with national and state elections, suggesting a two-phase approach.

Previous Recommendations

In August 2018, the previous Law Commission supported the Modi government’s proposal for simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, emphasizing that it would prevent the country from being in a perpetual election cycle. However, further public discourse on the issue was recommended before arriving at a final decision. The panel’s draft report also highlighted the need for changes in the existing constitutional framework to conduct simultaneous elections.

Origins of the Initiative

The law ministry had initially tasked the Law Commission with examining the feasibility of simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections in April 2018. The ongoing effort reflects the government’s commitment to streamlining India’s electoral processes and reducing the frequent occurrence of elections.

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