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Why Simultaneous Elections Are Not a Good Idea ?

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(KC Kalkura)

The political parties opposing the simultaneous polls may be ginger groups.

The Parties interested in the process alone attend the meetings convened by any statutory bodies or constitutional functionaries or the government.

Though the government of the day is the will of the ruling party, before taking any drastic action, either way, there must be a dialogue.

A Legislative enactment should not be thrust on the nation. Pros and cons, real and imaginary, must be discussed threadbare. Article 1 in the constitution states that “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States”.

It is termed by the Constitutional experts as “Quasi-federal’.  Like the USA, we are not a “United States, a Federal set-up. And, we have adopted ‘Parliamentary Democracy’.  That they are basic structures of the Constitution need no reiteration.

They cannot be altered to suit the whims and fancies of the political parties, big or small.

Though the life of an Assembly of a state and the Lok Sabha is equal, five years, they are not co-terminus. It can be said in the Shakespearean Language:

“Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come. ” (Julius Caesar Act II, Scene 2)

As Adi Sankara said in the 22nd Stanza of the Bhaja Govindam: “Born again, death again; birth again to stay in the mother’s womb. It is hard to cross this boundless ocean of samsara. Oh, Murari redeem me through Thy Mercy.” (Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam, Punarapi janani jatare sayanamIha samsaare khalu dusthare, Krupayaa pare pahi Murare)

(పునరపి జననం పునరపి మరణంపునరపి జననీ జఠరే శయనమ్ |ఇహ సంసారే బహు దుస్తారేకృపయా‌உపారే పాహి మురారే)

Every Legislative Assembly is formed (born) and dissolved (Dead), in between it, is under the administrative control of the Governor and the Election Commission (Stay in the Mother’s womb).

Legislative functioning is rigorous (Samsara) and God  (Constitution of India) cannot redeem it. Later or sooner it has to be formed and dissolved; a continuous process.

If the Lok Sabha is dissolved, there is no provision to promulgate the President’s Rule. The only immediate alternative is seeking a fresh mandate from the people.

In the meanwhile, the President cannot take over the reins of administration.”There shall be a Council of Ministers to aid and advice the  President.”

In general terms, the administration  in the interregnum of the dissolution of the Lok Sabha and the constitution of the next Lok Sabha is called, ‘Interim Government.’

New Lok Sabha has to be convened within six months from the date of the last sitting of the previous Lok Sabha.

When the constitutional machinery fails in a state, the President’s rule is imposed i.e the centre administers the state through the governor.

Again election to elect a new assembly shall be held within six months.

As such, the simultaneous election is tantamount to meddling with the life of the state legislatures and the Lok Sabha.

As long as there is a multi-party democracy, the present trend will continue. National Parties shall learn to share the local sentiments and take care of the regional interests.

Now, even the state parties are known to ignore regional interests. For instance, one of the reasons for the downfall of the Telugu Desam Party in A.P. was its step-motherly treatment to Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra Regions.

There were occasions when the state Assemblies and the Lok Sabha were dissolved within months of the elections. Midterm polls were held.

In such circumstances, leave alone the Constitutional mandate, is it viable or wise to dissolve all the other Assemblies and the Lok Sabha, and go in for the so-called simultaneous elections.

Or else, we have to keep the State/s under the President’s rule for years to catch up with others for the simultaneous polls.

Altering the very nature of the Constitution through amendments to achieve this parity, will not be in conformity with the ‘Procedures established by law’.

One can hold any number of all-party meetings, but it is impossible to reach a consensus.

Even if all the Political parties arrive at a consensus, it may not be acceptable to the overwhelming majority of the people who are the prime stakeholders in a Parliamentary Democracy