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Simultaneous polls

President Ram Nath Kovind endorsed Prime Minister for simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha, state-assemblies and civic-bodies. Election Commission and Vice President earlier favoured the idea but without coming with its practical implementation. What happens if mid-term polls are necessitated due to some hung state-assembly? Only remedy for making simultaneous elections a dream-come-true is to ensure fixed-term Lok Sabha and all state-assemblies by electing Prime Minister and Chief Ministers simultaneously with Speakers and Deputy Speakers through secret and compulsory vote of all MLAs through EVMs (with VVAT provision) on nominations signed by at least 34 per cent members of the Lower House. Such elected persons may only be removed through same process but with compulsion to name alternate leader in the same motion. MLAs not participating in election-process may lose right to vote in state-assemblies though retaining membership.

Also simultaneous elections to posts of President and Vice President should also be ensured. Post of Lok Sabha Speaker may be upgraded to that of a Vice President. President and two Vice Presidents may be simultaneously elected through EVMs (with VVPAT provision) by all MPS and MLAs on nominations signed by at least 34 per cent Parliamentarians within three months of formation of the new Lok Sabha. In case of mid-term vacancy caused at post of President, senior Vice President may be made President for rest of the term. In case of mid-term vacancy caused at post of a Vice President, interim Vice President may be elected for rest of the term. In case of none of their regularly elected incumbents remain, fresh simultaneous elections for all the three posts may be held without waiting for completion of five-year term. Country witnessed holding elections for posts of President and Vice President just with a gap of 17 days in the year 2017.

Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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