Niti Aayog for simultaneous LS, assembly polls from 2024
The Niti Aayog has suggested a synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly polls from 2024 so as to ensure minimum 'campaign-mode' disruption to governance.
Outlining the details, the policy think-tank has said implementing the proposal may necessitate "a maximum one-time curtailment or extension of some state assemblies".
It has made the Election Commission the nodal agency to look into the suggestion and recommended setting up of a working group of stakeholders for deciding a road-map for synchronised elections.
A report in this regard need to be finalised within six months and final blue-print will be ready by next March, as per draft three-year action agenda for 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The draft report was circulated among the Governing Council members (consisting of chief ministers of all states and others) of the Niti Aayog on April 23.
The recommendation assumes significance as President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have pitched for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls.
"All elections in India should happen in a free, fair and synchronised manner so as to cause minimum 'campaign-mode' disruption to governance. We may begin work towards switching to a synchronised two-phase election from the 2024 election to the Lok Sabha," the Niti Aayog draft report says.
This would require a maximum one-time curtailment or extension of some state assemblies, it said.
"To implement this in the national interest, a focused group of stakeholders comprising constitution and subject matter experts, think-tanks, government officials and representatives of various political parties should be formed to work out appropriate implementation-related details.
"This may include drafting appropriate Constitution and statutory amendments, agreeing on a workable framework to facilitate transition to simultaneous elections, developing a stakeholder communication plan and various operational details," the draft report says.
Mukherjee in his speech on the eve of this year's Republic Day had favoured holding Lok Sabha and assembly elections together. Modi had in February made a strong pitch for simultaneous elections.