“Law ministry plans to place a simultaneous poll before the Cabinet.”

“Law ministry plans to place a simultaneous poll before the Cabinet.”

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details of “Law Ministry plans to place a simultaneous poll before the Cabinet.” This topic is relevant to the “Polity and Governance” section of the UPSC—CSE Exam.


Why in the news?


The committee report chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind on “one nation, one election” or simultaneous elections is set to be presented to the Union Cabinet as a key item on the Law Ministry’s 100-day agenda.

Additionally, the Law Commission has prepared a report proposing simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and local bodies starting in 2029. The report suggests a mechanism for forming a coalition government in the event of a hung House or a no-confidence motion.


Historical Background:


  • Simultaneous elections to states and the Lok Sabha are not a new concept. They were conducted in India in 1952, 1957, 1962, and 1967. However, this practice was discontinued after the dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies between 1968-69. 
  • The idea of reintroducing simultaneous elections was first proposed in the Election Commission’s annual report in 1983 and subsequently mentioned in the Law Commission’s report in 1999. 
  • The BJP government, after assuming power in 2014, strongly advocated for simultaneous elections. The Law Commission in 2018 had submitted a draft report recommending the implementation of simultaneous polls, recommending amendments to electoral laws and relevant constitutional articles. 
  • It analysed legal and constitutional challenges and proposed that such elections could only be held through constitutional amendments by a Special majority and ratified by at least 50% of states.




Simultaneous Elections/ ‘One Nation One Election’ System means:


  • Currently, India conducts separate elections for the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies at different times, typically every five years or when an early dissolution occurs. 
  • State Assembly terms may not align with each other or with that of the Lok Sabha, resulting in elections being held throughout the year.
  •  The ‘One Nation One Election’ proposal aims to synchronise these elections to occur simultaneously every five years. 
  • This restructuring of the electoral cycle would involve voters casting their votes for both the Lok Sabha and state assemblies on the same day or in a phased manner.


Implementation/ Important Articles:


  • Implementing simultaneous elections requires political consensus on electoral system changes and amendments to the Constitution. 
  • Key articles that would need amending include Article 172 and Article 83, which deal with the duration of Parliament and state assemblies, Article 85 regarding the President’s powers in summoning Parliament sessions, and Article 356 concerning the President’s Rule.
  • Amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the Anti-Defection Law are also necessary for ensuring stability in both the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

Arguments in Favor of Simultaneous Elections/ One Nation OneElection:


  • Cost Reduction: Conducting elections at different times incurs significant expenses in terms of time, labour, and finances. Costs include the movement of security personnel and the diversion of state machinery, among others, leading to substantial savings for the exchequer.
  • Boost in Voter Turnout: Simultaneous polls are expected to increase voter turnout by reducing voter fatigue and streamlining the electoral process. This could lead to higher participation rates and enhanced democratic engagement.
  • Optimal Deployment of Security Forces: Frequent elections demand continuous deployment of security forces, diverting them from other critical security duties. Simultaneous elections would allow for better utilisation of these forces, improving overall security management across the country.
  • Impact on Social Fabric: Frequent elections often exacerbate societal divisions based on caste, religion, and other identities. By reducing the frequency of elections, simultaneous polls could mitigate these polarising effects, fostering social cohesion.
  • Focus on Governance: Constant electoral cycles divert political attention towards short-term electoral gains rather than long-term governance and policy-making. Simultaneous elections would provide longer periods of governance stability, enabling governments to focus more on developmental agendas.
  • Efficient Delivery of Essential Services: Elections frequently involve the mobilisation of public servants, including teachers, affecting the delivery of essential services. Simultaneous elections would minimise disruptions, ensuring consistent public service delivery.
  • Promotion of Democratic Values: Smaller parties often face financial constraints when competing with larger parties during elections, impacting the equity of the democratic process. 




  • Constitutional Concerns: Opponents argue that simultaneous elections may pose constitutional challenges and undermine the federal structure of Indian politics. Concerns include logistical demands such as the scale of manpower and machinery required (like EVMs and VVPATs).
  • Dominance of National Issues: Critics fear that national issues could overshadow local concerns in simultaneous elections, potentially sidelining regional issues that are crucial for state-level governance and development.
  • Accountability Issues: Regular elections ensure that governments remain accountable to the electorate. Critics argue that fixed-term simultaneous elections might diminish this accountability, leading to complacency or even autocratic tendencies among elected officials.
  • Synchronisation Challenges: Maintaining synchronisation in a diverse democracy like India poses significant logistical and operational challenges. The loss of confidence in any state assembly could disrupt the entire electoral schedule, leading to practical difficulties.
  • Preservation of Democratic Will: The current system, with staggered elections, is seen as a deliberate choice to uphold democratic principles, allowing people to express their will through periodic voting. Changing this system could be seen as tampering with democratic traditions.


Way Forward:


  • The concept of simultaneous elections is timely and deserves thorough discussion and debate across all political parties to address concerns related to the federal structure of the Constitution. This inclusive approach is crucial for facilitating the smooth implementation of the idea nationwide.
  • Implementing the ‘one nation, one election’ system aims to streamline the electoral process, saving significant time, energy, and resources. By reducing the duration of electoral cycles, political parties would have more opportunities to focus on national issues and enhance governance.
  • The Law Commission’s recommendations indicate a feasible path to revisiting and potentially reinstating the concept of simultaneous elections, reminiscent of its practice during the early decades of India’s independence.

Prelims based Question:


Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. An eligible voter can become a minister without membership in the state assembly/ Parliament for 3 months.
  2. Non-residents of India(NRI) can contest elections.

Which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2



Mains based Question:

Q. Critically Analyse. Simultaneous elections (One Nation, One Election) for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies have the potential to curtail the extensive time and financial resources allocated to electoral processes but  it will dimnish the government’s accountability to the people.

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