UP govt backs simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

File Photo of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

An Uttar Pradesh government panel has recommended simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies, echoing a suggestion by the Law Commission and Prime Minister Modi’s own view on the issue. The 23-page report was submitted by UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh, who headed the seven-member committee constituted by the chief minister.

“In the first instance, we may have elections to Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies to be held simultaneously and subsequently elections to the local bodies should also be joined with them,” the report proposed.

The report titled ‘One nation, one election & common electoral rolls’ was submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday.

“UP is the first state to push PM’s idea of national debate on holding all elections up to the panchayat together. We have examined it and it is possible,” Singh said, adding as per the prime minister’s one-nation, one-election suggestion, the state favoured holding simultaneous polls.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath later said, “We are forwarding the report to the Centre, and it will be good in the larger public interest.”

He added that to keep the electoral rolls clean, Aadhaar numbers should be linked with the names of voters to eliminate chances of duplication, as suggested by the committee.

The report said holding simultaneous elections would involve synchronising the election cycles of various state legislative assemblies with the Lok Sabha polls and making this synchronisation a permanent feature.

“It is evident that if the terms of state assemblies are to coincide with that of the Lok Sabha, then, in the first instance, the terms of some of the state assemblies would have to be curtailed and that of some other assemblies extended. For this, there has to be a reference date,” the report said.

It said the logical date would be the midway point between June 4, 2019, and June 3, 2024, which would be in November-December 2021. “For simplicity and without compromising with the underlying logic, we can take that as December 31, 2021,” it said.

“This proposal would require amendments to the Constitution and statutes, detailed examination of which could be carried out once the principle is agreed upon,” the report said.

The committee noted that till 1967 elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies were held together. It was only due to the political events around that time that the synchronous electoral cycle was broken and as time progressed the conduct of elections became more and more disjointed, it said.

On common electoral rolls, the committee said, “The concept is to have the same electoral rolls for elections to Lok Sabha/State Assembly or local bodies”.

(With inputs from PTI)