Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to bring a legislation to hold the first phase of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and Assemblies whose terms come to end in 2018-19, according to BJP sources. After wresting Himachal Pradesh, the BJP-NDA combine now is in power in 19 Assemblies which should give it the advantage. The move for the legislation is expected in the ensuing Budget Session of Parliament.
The Prime Minister is keen to hold Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 13 Assemblies sometime in October 2018, they added. Sources said that after passage of the Constitutional Amendment Bill in Parliament in February, it would not be difficult for the Centre to ensure passage of the Bill by minimum 50 per cent of legislatures in a month.
Parliament is vested with power to bring in a Constitutional Amendment Bill for curtailing or extending the tenure of the Assemblies as was done during Emergency by the then Indira Gandhi government. The proposal to hold simultaneous polls is nothing new as Mr Modi has been stating that it was very much on the cards. Even Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat said in Bhopal a few weeks ago that the Prime Minister’s Office had sought working out modalities.
Tenure of some assemblies to be affected
NITI Aayog has prepared a draft on holding simultaneous polls. The report said this would require a maximum one-time curtailment or ex-tension in some Houses.
It remained to be seen if there would be an extension of elections to Karnataka, Tripura and Meghalaya Assemblies whose terms come to an end between March and May 2018. That would depend on the stance that Mr Modi takes.
The move will have to either repeal or introduce new provisions in the Representation of People’s Act and a few provisions in the Consti-tution.
Speaking to mediapersons in Hyderabad, CPI secretary-general Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said his party was against the move for simultaneous polls. He said it would take away the rights of states.
The CPI was proposing proportional representation system wherein parties would be allotted seats in proportion to the percentage of votes they secure.
Assembly tenure 2018
March 6: Meghalaya
March 13: Nagaland
March 14: Tripura
May 28: Karnataka
Dec. 15: Mizoram
Jan. 5: Chhattisgarh
Jan. 7: MP
Jan. 20: Rajasthan
May 27: Sikkim
June 1: Arunachal
June 11: Odisha
June 8: Telangana
June 18: Andhra Pradesh