The move to synchronise state and Lok Sabha elections has gathered momentum with the government setting up a committee in the law ministry to study the feasibility of simultaneous polls to break the current cycle of assembly polls being held — sometimes more than once — every year.
The committee is likely to complete a report by July for the Cabinet to take a final decision before an all-party discussion is initiated. The exercise is intended to initiate the process of aligning state and national elections — after all-party consultations — by enacting constitutional amendments before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The law ministry has the concurrence of the Election Commission which has estimated an expenditure of over Rs 9,000 crore for such a large exercise. But this might be less than the cumulative cost of holding separate state polls in batches as an annual occurrence. The government is hopeful of holding all-party consultations and passing constitutional amendments well before the end of its tenure.
“The prime minister is very keen to hold elections to assemblies and Parliament together. A committee was set up a month-and-a-half ago and has been given a deadline of three months to complete its report,” informed law minister Sadananda Gowda