Law Comm to discuss simultaneous elections with political parties

Law Comm to discuss simultaneous  elections with political parties
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NEW DELHI, July 6: The Law Commission will hold deliberations with representatives of political parties on Saturday and Sunday on the issue of simultaneous elections to Parliament and state assemblies.
Barring two major national parties, ruling BJP at the Centre and main opposition Congress, many of the regional outfits are participating in the two-day meet here. Samajwadi Party, DMK, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, DMK, AIADMK, RLD, Shiromani Akali Dal are among parties which have confirmed their participation so far.
The Law Commission is open to receiving views of parties even after the two-day consultation process ends on Sunday with all political parties invited to share their views. The commission will hold one-to-one meetings with each of these parties and has accordingly allotted separate time schedule.
A source in the commission said the BJP has requested to give its views later. Earlier this year, the commission had issued a draft working paper on the issue and invited opinions from different stakeholders.
The Law Commission, while considering its draft working paper in a full commission meeting in April, held that amendment of the Constitution is required besides the Representation of the People (RP) Act and the Rules of the Procedure of Lok Sabha and those of the assemblies for holding simultaneous elections to assemblies and Parliament.
Any amendment to the Constitution would require two-third of the members of both Houses of Parliament present and voting to approve the legislation followed by its ratification by at least 50% of the state assemblies.
The government would require consensus of all major political parties to push through any such legislation.
The Law panel’s draft working paper had said that a definition of “simultaneous elections” may be added to Section 2 of the RP Act. And, in order to prevent a hung house, in case of a no-confidence motion is passed against the existing government, the Constitution may be amended to incorporate the provision regarding remainder of the term, i.e., the assembly or Parliament will complete its full five-year term with the Opposition coming up with an option for forming an alternative government. The commission said this system is prevalent in Germany. (TNN)