Former Chief Justice of India, and the head of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, Justice M N Venkatachallaiah, has raised several red flags on the Law Commission’s draft proposal for ‘simultaneous elections’, made public on Tuesday.
Justice Venkatachallaiah, appointed to head the Constitution review panel by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in February 2000, said that a decision to hold Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections at one go should be taken only after comprehensively consulting all elected representatives, and must ensure that the federal principle is not violated in the process. Moreover, local issues are likely to take a backseat if state Assembly elections are clubbed together with Parliamentary polls, he maintained.
“I have said so before, and I will repeat: in a Parliamentary democracy like ours, things like a referendum or a snap poll do not work,” Justice Venkatachallaiah told The Indian Express from Bengaluru. “They could (work) in some countries, but are unsuitable for our democratic culture.” He said that if there is only one election, vital local issues would “always get submerged”, and will not be addressed. “If state and Central elections are held separately, then all issues find democratic and appropriate expression,” he added.
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