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Simultaneous Polls 'Desirable', 'Achievable': EC to Law Commission

17 May 2018

The Law Commission today asked the Election Commission to list out "practical difficulties" in holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies and also sought its views on the proposed legal framework to carry out the exercise.

At a meeting held at Nirvachan Sadan this morning, law panel top brass discussed various logistical and practical aspects with the Chief Election Commissioner and fellow commissioners in holding the two polls together, sources privy to the deliberations told PTI. Both the bodies reportedly deliberated upon a list of 20 questions but the prime focus was on the issues affecting the functioning of government's when Model Code of Conduct is in force. "It seems the Law Commission, during its interaction with other stakeholders, had received the feedback that MCC disrupts government work", a senior EC official said on conditions of anonymity.

The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday reiterated that it supports simultaneous polls in a meeting with the Law Commission, according to a report by The Indian Express.

"To this, the EC suggested that the Law Commission should not go by anecdotal evidence, but empirical evidence".

Earlier this month, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s national president Amit Shah had dismissed talks that the 2019 general elections may be preponed and indicated that simultaneous elections may not be feasible due to lack of political consensus.

Sources said the law panel also wanted to know how many such instances were reported during the last four elections by Centre or states and the number of times it was settled.

The Law Commission has already brought out a "Draft working paper - Simultaneous Elections - Constitution and Legal Perspectives", which has been sent to the Union Law Ministry.

Simultaneous Polls 'Desirable', 'Achievable': EC to Law Commission