Amit Shah, Ghulam Nabi Azad part of eight-member panel on simultaneous elections : The Tribune India

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Amit Shah, Ghulam Nabi Azad part of eight-member panel on simultaneous elections

Appointed, Adhir Ranjan refuses to be on the committee | No Question Hour, Zero Hour in special parl session

Amit Shah, Ghulam Nabi Azad part of eight-member panel on simultaneous elections

Amit Shah Home Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad Ex-LoP, Rajya Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Congress MP



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, September 2

The Centre on Saturday notified a high-level committee headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind to explore the possibility of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state legislative Assemblies, municipalities and panchayats across India.

The other members of the committee are: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, noted jurist Harish Salve, former chairman of the Finance Commission NK Singh, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash C Kashyap and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari, said a notification issued by the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice.

However, Adhir declined to be part of the committee, questioning its purpose and terms of reference. “Sudden attempt to thrust a constitutionally suspect, pragmatically non-feasible and logistically unimplementable idea on the nation, months before the General Election, raises serious concerns about ulterior motives of the government,” Adhir wrote to the Union Home Minister. He also questioned the exclusion of Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge from the panel.

Minister of State for Law Arjun Ram Meghwal shall attend the meetings as a special invitee, it said, adding Niten Chandra, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, shall be the secretary of the committee. The panel, headquartered in New Delhi, has been directed to begin functioning immediately and make recommendations at the earliest. It has been mandated to “examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections keeping in view the existing framework under the Constitution and other statutory provisions”. For this, the panel would examine and recommend specific amendments, if needed, to the Constitution, the Representation of People Act and any other law, it said. Notably, it has been asked to examine and recommend if the amendments to the Constitution would require ratification by the states, and examine the logistics and manpower required, including EVMs, and VVPATs, for holding elections. The committee would also “analyse and recommend” possible solutions in scenarios such as a hung House, adoption of no-confidence motion or defection or any such other event, the notification read. The committee will hear and entertain all persons, representations and communications which in its opinion can facilitate its work and enable it to finalise its recommendations.

The panel has been asked to “suggest a framework for synchronisation of elections and specially, suggest the phases and time frame within which simultaneous elections may be held if these cannot be held in one go and also suggest any amendment to the Constitution and other laws and propose rules that may be required in such circumstances”. It would also recommend the modalities of use of a single electoral roll and electoral ID cards for voters’ identification.

Kovind-led panel’s notification issued

  • The Centre on Saturday issued a notification on the formation of the committee headed by ex-President Ram Nath Kovind
  • It will explore possibility of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, Assemblies, municipalities and panchayats

Defections, evms part of terms of reference

  • Recommend amendments to the Constitution or any other law
  • Offer solutions in case of a hung House, adoption of no-trust motion or defection
  • Examine logistics, including additional personnel & EVMs
  • Recommend modalities on use of a single electoral roll, identity cards for voters

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#Amit Shah #Ghulam Nabi Azad #Lok Sabha #Ram Nath Kovind


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