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    November 2017

Simultaneous Elections: Consensus is the Way


We as a nation have come a long way towards giving a sovereign republic constitution to India, establishing the parliamentary form of government and developing an institutional complex around which the largest democracy came to thrive in the world. It was the outcome of a continuous process of intellectual churning and the road was full of challenges. 

Elections are considered to be the “carnival of democracy”. They are the principal mechanism of sustaining and regenerating national institutions. An independent electoral regime which can inspire confidence in the electorate is the sine qua non of the successful conduct of polls. Even a minute change in the electoral process should be introduced after careful deliberation since it will have a direct implication on the basic principles of democracy and the consequent institutional set-up. 

This edition of Bureaucracy Today brings you a detailed analysis of the idea of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. It looks best in the interest of Indians at its face value. It will not only ensure better political governance but also save the huge cost of economic and human resources involved in the current system of a staggered electoral battle. However, one should not get prompted to make any hasty decision as challenges in the implementation of the idea loom large. While the synchronization of election timings of the Lok Sabha and all the State Assemblies remains a key challenge, the question of the principle of federalism being tampered with hits the foundation stone of our democratic set-up.

Debate, deliberation and discussion are the essence of a working democracy. Therefore, the approach of the current dispensation to protect the spirit of cooperative federalism must be based on a wide discussion across the political spectrum. Not just all the political parties but every other stakeholder should be taken into confidence and a consensus should evolve. Based on this approach only the Government can proceed with the required constitutional amendments.

Though every progressive idea in the interest of Indian democracy and governance is welcome, there should not be blind drum beating over a suggestion which is still in the nascent stage. It must get an appropriate level of maturity and then only should be put before Parliament and in the public domain.

Ultimately, there should not be any space for a temptation which can raise a question mark on the founding principles of Indian democracy.


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