Since the BJP with its allies stormed to power at the Centre and other states since 2014, there has been a pitch for holding simultaneous elections like the post 1947 years. The pitch though, is being tiled by the election commission over an again by portraying its preparedness to follow the same, the chief proponents, the right-wing parties seem to have been lacking a case.
The ground for simultaneous elections is based on a ground that seems to be very lucrative for a country battling with fund crisis and dealing with deep fiscal deficits, where conducting elections everywhere all the year round remain and added burden to practice the democracy that is to be established.
Unlike the American and French systems, India follows an advanced version of the Westminster Parliamentary Model, that has been fortified by rules of procedure and customs. The post 1947 era saw governments coming down when there was any opposition to the Congress’ authority, either from the insiders or outsiders.
The governments started by getting elected through simultaneous elections when there was one party system in India, as the opposition grew, the incidents of dissent and abrupt dissolution of the state legislatures happened more than once. The governments also made it a show of power to dislodge every government at the state as and when another political power rose to power at the Centre.
With National parties unable to address the regional issues that were faced by the numerous states, regional parties rose to prominence in almost every state. With the introduction of ULB democratic institutions, the electioneering got a swift role to play with an added expenditure, while putting the gram panchayats too in the same bracket.
The proponents of these elections thrive on a premise that the elections which are held too often, consume a substantial amount of time for campaigning and the model code of conduct affects the smooth functioning of the governments and its programmes. Add to these the second premise is of the costs incurred towards and distracting the work force available at the disposal of the state, which also is a problem. The third ground of trouble is the never ending-ever changing political discourse which does not one party wrest the control from the top to bottom, to provide a playing field for the reformist or innovative leaders who get elected.
The proponents have tried to divert the attention of the people by covering up their power games aimed at wresting absolute control if, at all there is a wave that may be tapped for pan-India electoral mandate. The power equation will give the party who is riding the wave, absolute power without addressing the regional concerns and giving the electorate a diversity to vote for the most able leaders emerging from regional politics.
The tinkering with the electoral process as it stands today, also involves a Constitutional Amendment, and it must be a thought of considerable work, where the work-ability of the model is tested upon the parliamentary form of government that we have.
The system as it stands today, is more about choice of the voter and it is the political parties that make aggressive campaigning and flow of money their ordeal to contest and win elections.