Private Bill moots concurrent polls

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The Hindu Business Line, July 21, 2016

In an attempt to end the high-command culture in parties and horse-trading, and to ensure simultaneous elections to Assemblies and Parliament, a Private Member Bill is being moved in Lok Sabha on Friday.

Biju Janata Dal leader in the Lok Sabha, Bhartruhari Mahtab, will move the Constitution amendment Bill in the House on Thursday.

The Bill seeks to amend Article 75 and 164 of the Constitution, and to provide that a motion of no-confidence shall be accompanied by a motion of confidence naming the successor Prime Minister or Chief Minister in Parliament or State Assemblies. The Bill necessitates that both motions be voted upon together.

Mahtab adds that to make a transitional provision, the Centre shall take a decision after consulting the Election Commission on the matter of extending or curtailing the duration of State Assemblies, so that elections to the Assemblies may coincide with the Lok Sabha elections. The Bill also demands a new Constitution provision for the same. Mahtab argues that simultaneous elections will considerably reduce the cost of holding them.

?This can further reduce the role of dubious money that presently vitiates the election process. Secondly, the model code of conduct tends to disrupt the process of governance since many governmental initiatives have to be put on hold till the completion of elections,? he said. A Parliamentary panel had also submitted a report recently seeking the possibilities of holding simultaneous elections.

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