Thursday, November 30, 2023

Roadmap on simultaneous polls with Kovind committee to be shared on Oct 25

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The Law Commission will share next week its roadmap on holding simultaneous polls with the high-level committee headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind.

The panel has invited the Law Commission on October 25 to seek its views on how simultaneous polls can be held in the country.

The high-level panel, which had in its first meeting recently decided to seek views of political parties, has now written to them to elicit their views on holding sustainable simultaneous polls in the country.

In a communication to the parties, it has sought interaction with them on a “mutually agreed date”, sources said citing the letter.They said parties have also been given the option to send their views in writing in the next three months.

Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi-headed law panel is working on a formula to synchronize all assembly polls by extending or reducing the tenure so that these elections can be held along with Lok Sabha polls 2029 onwards.

The law panel is devising a mechanism to ensure a common electoral roll for Lok Sabha, assemblies and local bodies to reduce cost and use of manpower for undertaking an almost identical exercise which is carried out now by the Election Commission and various state election commissions.

For synchronizing various assembly polls to ensure both state and Lok Sabha elections are held together from 2029 onwards, the Commission may suggest reducing or enhancing the tenure of legislative assemblies.

A mechanism is being devised to ensure that once Lok Sabha and assembly polls are synchronized, voters go to the polling booth only once to cast their ballot for both elections.

The sources said since assembly and parliamentary polls are held in phases, the Commission is working out modalities to see that voters do not go to polling stations more than once to cast their ballot for the two polls.

The Commission, they said, is of the view that assembly and parliamentary polls can be held together and it is only working out modalities for the smooth conduct of the gigantic democratic exercise.

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