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The history of the Republic of India begins on 26 January, 1950. The new constitution of 1950 made this country a secular and democratic state. The country started its first election cycle to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies simultaneously post-independence in 1951-52. This cycle which was in sync was till the end of the 3rd Lok Sabha when it finally got disrupted during the 4th Lok Sabha and the trend has grown ever since. The cost to the public exchequer to hold State elections in a few States every year has hampered public’s day to day life and has put a further strain on the government employees on electoral duty. Holding simultaneous elections will allow uniformity, coherency and governance. Democracy implies good administration for which free and fair elections are held. But if winning elections become the target (instead of overall development), the democracy will not be served well. Enforcing simultaneous elections will necessitate a radical alteration from the existing status quo.
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In addition to that, the administrative machinery has to be kept into account and the expenses incurred are thereby massive. Frequent elections pose a sizeable burden on resources — both manpower and financial. Security personnel and government officials are effectively deployed on election duty for many months in a year. A case in point is the recurring engagement of teachers for election duty, as a result of which thousands of students lose out. The cost of elections runs into several crores and has been rising upward. The opportunity cost of these lost resources is too high to ignore as India is a resource-constrained developing economy. Simultaneous elections can bring the much-needed operational and functional efficiency in this exercise.
The principle of conducting simultaneous elections is all about stable governance. A sensitive and far-reaching reform requires unanimous support from all political parties. Parliamentary Committee reports have proposed implementable road maps for simultaneous elections.
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