Amendments To 5 Articles Of The Constitution Needed For Simultaneous Polls: EC

| February 5 , 2018 , 09:01 IST

A hot topic for discussion these days has been the concept of 'One Nation, One Election', which would mean simultaneous state assembly elections and general elections. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind have batted for holding simultaneous elections, the Opposition has highlighted the many hurdles.

The Election Commission of India, while supporting the concept of 'One Nation, One Election', specified that in order to conduct simultaneous elections, at least 5 Articles of the Constitution would need to be amended.

The articles that would need to be amended for simultaneous polls include Article 83, regarding the duration of Houses of Parliament, Article 85, regarding dissolution of Lok Sabha, Article 172, regarding duration of state legislatures, Article 174 regarding dissolution of state assemblies and Article 356 (Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States).

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Since simultaneous polls would require state assemblies to be extended or curtailed, the compliance of each of the individual states would be required to make the 'One Nation, One Election' a success.

"Having regard to the federal structure of our system of governance, it is imperative that consensus of all state governments is obtained," noted the Election Commission, speaking to Times of India.

Apart from the legal requirements to conduct simultaneous polls, the physical availability of voting machines would also need to be addressed.

"Additional EVMs/VVPATs worth about Rs 2,000 crore will be required. Considering that the life of a machine is only 15 years, this will imply that the machine be used about three or four times in its lifespan, entailing a huge expenditure in its replacement after every 15 years," the EC said.

Simultaneous state and general elections would go a long way towards saving time and resources.