PIL in Delhi HC to see feasibility of holding Lok Sabha, assembly elections together

Updated: Feb 3 2023 7:28PM

New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking to direct the Centre and the Election Commission to ascertain the feasibility of conducting polls for Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies simultaneously in 2024 to save money and reduce the burden on security forces and public administration. The petition said the elections to assemblies whose terms are expiring in 2023 and 2024 may be brought together with the 2024 Lok Sabha polls by curtailing and extending the tenure. If a consensus evolves among political parties, assembly elections of 16 states -- Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Telangana, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand -- can be held with the 2024 General Elections, it said.

Petitioner and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has also sought to direct the Centre and the poll panel to ascertain the feasibility of conducting elections on Saturday, Sunday and some holiday to save time of schools, colleges, universities, service industries and manufacturing organisations. The plea claimed that as per a provisional estimate, the conduct of 2014 Lok Sabha elections entailed an expenditure of almost Rs 4,500 crore and it is estimated that an undeclared Rs 30,000 crore was spent on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Thus, doing away with several separate elections every year is likely to reduce expenditure substantially, it said. The plea said conducting the elections together will save public money, reduce burden on security forces and public administration, ensure timely implementation of government policies and control election paralysis.

“There are many advantages in holding the Lok Sabha, state legislative assemblies, panchayats and municipal body elections together. It would reduce the time and cost involved in conducting elections in terms of the use of paramilitary forces, government staff on election duty and election commission staff organising booths, electronic voting machines and voter slips.