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Plans afoot to place Kovind panel’s report on simultaneous polls before Cabinet ‘at the earliest’


NEW DELHI, JUNE 14: The Union Law Ministry plans to place before the Union Cabinet the report of the high-level committee on ‘one nation, one election’, sources said on Friday.
They said placing the report before the Cabinet “at the earliest” is part of the 100-day agenda of the Legislative Department in the Law Ministry.
Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed all Union Ministries and Departments to draw up a 100-day agenda for the next Government.
The high-level committee on ‘one nation, one election’ headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind had submitted its report to President Droupadi Murmu on March 15, recommended simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies as the first step followed by synchronised local body polls within 100 days.
The panel had also proposed setting up of an ‘Implementation Group’ to look into the execution of the recommendations made by the committee.
Simultaneous polls will help save resources, spur development and social cohesion, deepen “foundations of democratic rubric” and help realise the aspirations of “India, that is Bharat”, the panel had said.
The panel also recommended preparation of a common electoral roll and voter ID cards by the Election Commission of India in consultation with State election authorities.
At present, the ECI is responsible for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, while local body polls for municipalities and panchayats are managed by State Election Commissions.
The panel recommended as many as 18 constitutional amendments, most of which will not need ratification by State Assemblies.
However, these would require certain Constitution amendment bills that would need to be passed by Parliament.
Some proposed changes regarding the single electoral roll and single voter ID card would need ratification by at least half of the States.
Separately, the Law Commission is also likely to come up soon with its own report on simultaneous polls, of which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a strong votary.
Sources said that the Law Commission is likely to recommend holding simultaneous polls for all 3 tiers of Government ~ Lok Sabha, State Assemblies and local bodies like municipalities and panchayats ~ starting with 2029 and a provision for unity government in cases like hung house or no-confidence motion. (PTI)