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simultaneous LS, Assembly elections

According to a report, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in favour of simultaneous polls for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.

It is due the administrative issues arising out of frequent and successive elections in various states. The Prime Minister is concerned that the way the electoral calendar of the country is set up, there are polls every year in some part of the country or the other. With the Model Code of Conduct coming into force in one State or the other and even for the Centre in some cases, this leads to administrative lethargy, and issues.

The decision is also based on the 78th report of the parliamentary standing committee of Law and Justice that had been asked to go into the issue in detail. The report was submitted in December 2015.

  • The committee recommended a two-phase election schedule to make the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls coterminous, but had raised uneasiness in different political parties.
  • The first general elections to the Lok Sabha was held simultaneously with all State Assemblies in 1951-52. That practice continued in three subsequent general elections held in the years — 1957, 1962 and 1967.
  • However, due to the premature dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969, the cycle got disrupted.
  • In 1970, the Lok Sabha was itself dissolved prematurely and fresh elections were held in 1971. The term of the fifth Lok Sabha was extended till 1977 under Article 352. After that, the eighth, tenth, fourteenth and fifteenth Lok Sabha could complete their five year terms. The sixth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth ones were dissolved prematurely.
  •  As a result of premature dissolutions and extension of terms of both the Lok Sabha and various State Assemblies, the last 48 years have seen separate elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies.

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