‘One Nation, One Election’: Ram Nath Kovind panel suggests 3-tier simultaneous polls in two phases, common electoral roll : The Tribune India

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‘One Nation, One Election’: Ram Nath Kovind panel suggests 3-tier simultaneous polls in two phases, common electoral roll

Report recommends 18 amendments to Constitution | Proposes local body polls within 100 days of LS, Assembly elections

‘One Nation, One Election’: Ram Nath Kovind panel suggests 3-tier simultaneous polls in two phases, common electoral roll

‘One Nation, One Election’ panel chairman Ram Nath Kovind presents the report to President Droupadi Murmu. PTI



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, March 14

A high-level panel led by former President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday recommended simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, followed by synchronised rural and urban local body elections within 100 days.

Editorial: Simultaneous polls

“Considering its overriding advantages, the committee is of the unanimous opinion that there should be simultaneous elections in the country,” the panel said in its report on ‘One Nation, One Election’ submitted to President Droupadi Murmu.

In its 18,626-page report — of which only 281 pages have been made public — the committee recommended that in the first step, simultaneous elections to the House of the People and the State Legislative Assemblies can be held.

“In the second step, the elections to municipalities and panchayats will be synchronised with House of People and State Legislative Assemblies in such a way that municipalities and panchayats elections are held within 100 days of the holding of elections of the House of the People and the State Legislative Assemblies,” it said.

The panel recommended 18 amendments to the Constitution to make it possible to hold three-tier simultaneous polls across India. It suggested adding a new provision — Article 82A — to the Constitution, which would override Article 83 (Duration of Houses of Parliament) and Article 172 (Duration of State Legislatures) in order to synchronise elections. “For this amendment, ratification by the states is not required,” it said.

Similarly, it suggested adding Article 324A for enabling simultaneous elections in panchayats and municipalities with the General Election of the House of the People and the State Legislative Assemblies. Recognising the significance of a Single Electoral Roll and Single Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) for elections to all three tiers of government to safeguard the rights of voters and avoid duplication of work by the EC and State Election Commissions, the panel said, “There is a need to harmonise the actions of the two constitutional bodies.”

It, therefore, recommended that “Article 325 of the Constitution of India be suitably amended, to enable the preparation of a Single Electoral Roll and Single Elector’s Photo Identity Card by the Election Commission of India, in consultation with State Election Commissions”.

The committee recommended that “for the purpose of logistical arrangements, the EC and the State Election Commissions may carry out an appropriate exercise to prepare a suitable plan and estimate (in terms of requirements of equipment such as EVM, VVPAT, polling personnel, security forces, election materials, etc) for conducting simultaneous elections”.

‘One nation, no poll': Cong’s dig at govt

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday attacked the government after a high-level committee recommended simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, alleging that they want to completely dismantle the Constitution with the objective of “one nation, no election”. tns

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