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4-min read

Buzz on Synced Lok Sabha, Assembly Elections Leads to President's Rule Debate

While some seem to be supportive of the move, with a few amendments in Article 356, others were vehemently opposing the decision by terming it as a ploy by the BJP to weaken the democratic structure of India.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:October 5, 2017, 2:30 PM IST
Buzz on Synced Lok Sabha, Assembly Elections Leads to President's Rule Debate
Image for representation.
Kolkata: The Election Commission of India’s (ECI) proposal to hold both Lok Sabha and state elections together has triggered a debate on possible misuse of Article 356 of the Constitution commonly known as ‘President's rule’.

While some seem to be supportive of the move, with a few amendments in Article 356, others were vehemently opposing the decision by terming it as a ploy by the BJP to weaken the democratic structure of India.

Speaking to News18, Trinamool Congress MP and former Railway Minister, Dinesh Trivedi, said, “Let them conduct Uttar Pradesh (UP) Assembly Polls and 2019 Lok Sabha elections together. Not only UP, wherever BJP is in power, let there will be fresh elections along with 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Then we will see.”

When asked why he is opposing the move, Trivedi said, “See, I am not opposing it. All I am saying is, if they are ready for UP state poll with Lok Sabha in 2019, only then will the others consider it. They have to clear their intentions first and only then can others start thinking above it.”

Jo mera hai, woh mera hai. Jo tumhara hai, woh bhi hamara hai. Aise nahi chalta. (What is mine, is mine. What is your is also mine. Things don’t work like that),” he added.

CPI (M) Politburo member and Lok Sabha MP Md Salim said, “Ideally it (assembly and Lok Sabha poll) should be together but the situation is not ideal right now. Considering the current situation, this cannot be possible because of various reasons.”

When asked to elaborate, he said, “The main reason is Article 356 of the Constitution. The central government can break the government before completion of its tenure (five years). There will be misuse of power. They can dissolve the Assembly citing that the state government is not being able to function. Where is the guarantee that they will allow states to function despite their best performance.”

“It is not an ideal situation… there could be horse trading... Who will take the responsibility if MLAs will be kept in five-star resorts to break the government? We have seen such practices in recent past. We feel that before implementing such rule, we first safeguard the democratic structure,” said the leader.

Congress Bengal President Adhir Chowdhury, however, said, “I don’t have any problem with the proposal but it should be imposed with certain amendments to protect the rights of the state government.”

“We have to see that sarkar bhang karney ki noubat na aaye (there should not be any deliberate attempt to dissolve the Assembly). Also, the central government have to ensure that an elected state government is allowed to function for five years. If they are ready to discuss these concerns, then we don’t have any problem. The next Assembly election in Bengal is in 2021 and Lok Sabha is in 2019. The Bengal government or any other government should get their full term. Any democratically elected government should be respected,” he said.

Over in Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, "I don't know how the CEC can take a call on when the elections can be held. The TDP, though, is a 35-year-old party and we will be ready for polls whenever they are held."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls to curtail huge election expenses. He had even discussed the matter with former President Pranab Mukherjee.

On Wednesday, ECI told the Central government that it will be ‘logistically ready’ by September 2018 to hold both Lok Sabha and state elections together.

Election Commissioner OP Rawat had said that they will get 40 lakh VVPAT machines by September 2018 and they would be logistically ready to hold simultaneous polls by September 2018. “It is up to the government to take a decision and make necessary legal amendments for it," he further said.

The poll panel has also launched a web-based application called Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) network for the same.

There are seven states where assembly elections will be held in 2018 including Himachal Pradesh where the present government’s tenure will end on January 27, 2018. In Gujarat the tenure of present government will end on January 22, 2018.

The other states which will have assembly elections are Karnataka (tenure ends on May 28, 2018), Meghalaya (tenure ends in March 6, 2018), Mizoram (tenure ends in Dec 15, 2018), Nagaland (tenure ends in Mar 13, 2018) and Tripura (tenure ends in March 6, 2018).
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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