Are joint elections good for democratic India? Whether India should proceed for simultaneous elections or frequent elections are healthier for the strong democracy of the nation?
Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi has proposed “One Nation, One Election”. It means to hold the elections for the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies at the same time. The Law Commission, Parliament Standing Committee and Niti Ayog have already recommended for joint elections.
Benefits of joint elections
Almost every year, elections are held in some states of the country. This brings a huge burden on the national economy. A large number of army men, police personnel and civilians are deployed in every election. The model code of conduct also hampers to implement government policies. Certainly, joint elections can be a good solution to these issues.
This is true that joint elections have been held for four consecutive terms after independence. But the circumstances were different at that time. Presently, we will have to dissolve the government of all the states to hold simultaneous polls. Certainly, this would be a herculean task as no state would like the dissolution of its government.
Shortcomings of simultaneous elections
Moreover, joint elections have the capability to mix up central and state-level issues. National issues may dominate the regional ones. So no doubt, the regional parties will be reluctant to go for simultaneous elections for the fear of electoral loss.
What if the central or any state government falls on account of lack of majority? We will have to either impose President’s rule for the remaining terms or hold a fresh election in the state. While the first option is not good for the representative democracy, the second option will again bring the country into frequent elections mode.
Frequent elections give the political parties an opportunity to evaluate themselves and remove their shortcomings. Separate elections provide feedback to the parties and an opportunity to improve their performance. This is good for a healthy democracy. Certainly, these benefits are missing in joint elections
Conclusively, joint elections have their own pros and cons that we cannot ignore. So, there should be a healthy and nationwide discussion on the issue of simultaneous elections.
Also Read :