PM Modi has been pitching for simultaneous elections since quite some time and now, the Election Commission of India has come up with a proposal of “one year one election” that might become a reality instead of “one nation one election”, if all goes well.
“Combining all elections within a period year would be a better alternative to One Nation One Poll”, said the Election Commission of India (EC) when it was asked about alternatives to simultaneous election by the Law Commission. Back in April, the Law Commission has framed a questionnaire for the EC with 20 questions and whether there is an alternative to PM Modi’s “one nation one election” calls. The Law Commission had also asked to know Election Commission’s views on holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections across the country and EC’s position on 15 socio-political and economic issues and five constitutional matters.
Responding to that, the Election Commission (EC) has suggested “one year one election” as an alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pitch for “one nation one election”. Currently, the Commission conducts elections together for states where the term of assemblies end within a few months of each other. This is because Section 15 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, prohibits the EC from notifying elections more than six months before the term of a state assembly is about to expire.
However, accomplishing “one year one election” will be easier as it doesn’t require as many legal amendments as simultaneous polls for which the Centre will have to make five amendments to the Constitution. The only change one has to make is amending Section 15 of the RP Act 1951 which says that even if the poll results are declared before the actual expiration date, the concerned state assembly can complete its term. So, if all elections in a year are clubbed together, the terms of state assemblies, which are expiring later in the year, need not be curtailed. They can complete their term that year and the new government can be sworn in after that – easy.