Simultaneous polls: Law Commission to recommend changes to Constitution, election law this week

New Delhi: The Law Commission will this week recommend a tough legal framework, which includes changes in the Constitution and election law, to hold Lok Sabha and assembly polls together, highly-placed sources on the panel said on Monday.

The commission would recommend amendments to the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act to ensure simultaneous polls, they said, adding that without these changes the mammoth exercise cannot be held.

The recommendations of the commission are not binding on the government, but the report will allow an informed debate among political parties and stakeholders.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies can be held in two phases beginning in 2019, provided at least two provisions of the Constitution are amended and ratified by majority of the states, a Law Commission study paper had said in April.

According to the working paper, the second phase of simultaneous polls can take place in 2024.

The document stated that the leader of the majority party be elected prime minister or chief minister by the entire House (Lok Sabha or state Assembly) to ensure stability of the government as well as the Lok Sabha or the Assembly.

The document proposed amending the Constitution (Articles 83(2) and 172(1) dealing with tenures of Lok Sabha and state Assemblies) and the Representation of the People Act to extend the terms of state legislative assemblies to effect the move.

It suggested that in case a government fell mid-term, the term of the new government would be for the remaining period "and not for a fresh five-year term".

"As an abundant caution and in order to avoid a challenge (in the courts) to amendments on the ground of not having obtained ratification by majority of the states, such ratification could be obtained for the proposed (constitutional) amendment," the working paper said.

Based on a suggestion made by the Election Commission, the working paper also said a no-confidence motion against the government should be followed by a confidence motion. This would ensure that if the Opposition does not have numbers to form an alternative government, the regime in office cannot be removed.


Updated Date: Aug 27, 2018 23:26 PM

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