New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has been moved for direction to the Central government and the Election Commission (EC) to determine if it is feasible to hold the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections at the same time in 2024.
In his Public Interest Litigation (PIL), petitioner, advocate Ashwini K. Upadhyay sought a direction to both to conduct elections on holidays, including Saturdays and Sundays, in order to save valuable time of schools, colleges, universities, service industries, and manufacturing organisations.
He has sumitted that it is crucial to hold the elections concurrently in order to save public money, lessen the load on the security forces and public administration on election duty, and EC staff who have to organise booths, electronic voting machines and voter slips.
The plea states: “As elections have become a big budget affair and expensive, the Law Commission of India, in its 170th Report on Reform of Electoral Laws (1999) has suggested simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies, for the sake of stability in governance. But the Centre and the EC did not take appropriate steps.”
Upadhyay has asked for the Law Commission’s recommendations to be implemented.
The plea further states that the elections to assemblies whose terms are expiring in 2023 and 2024 may be brought together with 2024 Lok Sabha election by curtailing or extending their tenure.
“If consensus evolves among political parties; assembly elections of 16 states i.e. Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Telangana, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand can be held with 2024 General Election,” it states.
The plea also states that since the majority of the states are ruled by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, the consensus would emerge without much difficulty, adding that it will result in simultaneous assembly polls of 16 states with General Elections in 2024.
Furthermore, it says that once the elections are held together and the election process is over, the government will get a clear 58 months to carry out important reforms since this is a large enough window for their results to be visible.
“It will make life easier for the political class,” the plea states.