Simultaneous Elections For LS, Assembly: Advani

New Delhi
Simultaneous Elections For LS, Assembly: Advani
Batting for fixed terms and simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies, senior BJP leader L K Advani has said he found Prime Minister Manmohan Singh receptive to the idea when he discussed the issues with him.

"I found both (PM and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee) of them receptive to a proposal I have been advocating for quite some time: fixed term legislatures and simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. The upshot would be: No uncertainty about the date of the five-yearly Lok Sabha and Assembly elections," Advani wrote in his blog today.

He met Singh later in the day and discussed this issue with him.

"In my brief chat with the two senior leaders of Government, I mentioned, that most European democracies have such an arrangement," Advani said.

The BJP Parliamentary Party chairman said, "our Constitution makers adopted the British pattern and invested the Executive with the authority to cut short the term of the elected legislature and hold an early election".

"It is gratifying that Britain itself is now considering a change," Advani said, and quoted Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as saying that he wants "big sweeping changes" on this front.

Clegg has advocated an elected House of Lords in which members will be elected by a proportional voting system.

"What is more relevant to the discussion I initiated with the Indian Prime Minister and the Leader of the Lok Sabha is a fixed term Lok Sabha and State legislatures and the elimination of uncertainty in so far as election dates are concerned," Advani wrote.

He further quotes Clegg as saying that this did not mean taking away Parliament’s right to throw out a government; but taking away government’s right to throw out Parliament.

Advani said in the first two decades after independence (till 1967), elections were held every five years but since then the country has witnessed a general election or a "mini-general election" every alternate year.

"This is not good for the health either of our Central and State governments, or of our polity," he said.

Advani states that even in the US, the Presidential Elections take place every four years. The next election is thus due in November 2012.

"The law lays down even the exact date of polls, when it says that the election shall be held 'on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November'. With this phraseology of the law, the earliest possible date is November 2, and the latest November 8," he said.
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