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Simultaneous polls inherently anti-democratic: Yechury

By PTI
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    New Delhi, July 4: The CPI(M) today told the Law Commission that holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together is inherently "anti-democratic" and negates the principles of federalism which is a fundamental feature of Constitution.

    Sitaram Yechury

    The panel had on June 14 written to all recognised political parties seeking their views on the issue.

    In his letter to the commission, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury listed the party's objections to the proposal stating that it goes beyond the ambit of law reform entailing major amendments to Constitution, and would run against both the "letter and spirit of our Constitution".

    "The aspects of our Constitution, we believe, cannot be undermined, or tweaked. We believe that such a proposal is inherently anti-democratic and negates the principles of federalism which is a fundamental feature of our Constitution," he wrote.

    The Law Commission will hold a two-day consultation with major political parties in New Delhi this week on the possibility of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together.

    Yechury had thanked the panel for inviting his party to the consultation, but said that it "may not be necessary" that they would attend.

    Seeking to give shape to the government's concept of "one nation, one election", the Law Commission's internal working paper has recommended holding the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously but in two phases beginning 2019.

    The second phase of simultaneous polls can take place in 2024, the document states.

    The document has proposed amending the Constitution and the Representation of the People Act to shorten or extend the terms of state legislative assemblies to effect the move.

    The states, which are recommended to be covered under phase-I, are where Assembly polls are due by 2021.

    States which will come under phase-II are Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi and Punjab. To hold elections in these states along with Lok Sabha polls, the terms of the Assemblies have to be extended.

    Based on a suggestion made by the Election Commission, the working paper says that a no-confidence motion against the government should be followed by a confidence motion.

    This would ensure that if the opposition does not have the numbers to form an alternative government, the regime in office cannot be removed.

    PTI

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