This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Yashpal S Mohan. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Simultaneous Lok Sabha And Assembly Polls or Yearly Elections?

More from Yashpal S Mohan

Over the past few years, BJP has been raising its pitch in favour of simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and the state assemblies – also called one nation, one poll. It has been suggested that the polls to those state assemblies which are completing their five-year term within two and half years of the due date of next General Elections, slated to be held in April/May 2019, should be held simultaneously with Lok Sabha elections. And, for the remaining states, the elections should be held during 2024 Lok Sabha elections by extending their terms to that date if need be. The rationale given for this suggestion is that currently elections are held so frequently in India that the country is always in an election mode. If elections are held only once in five years, the governments will devote more time and energies to their primary task, which is to govern, and spend less time and energy to fighting elections.

On the face of it, there is merit in the above argument. But many people doubt the intentions of BJP. They think that in reality, BJP wants to make full use of the undeniable popularity of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Since most voters tend to vote for the same party at the centre as well at the state level if the elections are held simultaneously, Modi’s popularity can help BJP overcome the unpopularity of its chief ministerial candidates in the states. If that be the case, the BJP has not thought through its proposal as this strategy can backfire.  It is possible that instead of Modi helping the BJP win in the state assemblies, the local unpopular cm candidates might damage the prospects of Modi as the PM candidate in the simultaneous elections.

Apart from the matters of governance and political considerations that come into play while analysing this proposal, there are some practical difficulties in implementing it. For example, if Lok Sabha or some of the state assemblies return with fractured mandates and no party or coalition of parties can form the government, will the country or the concerned states be compelled to have caretaker governments for four or five years till the next elections become due?

Nonetheless, to address the fundamental issue that governments at the centre and the states should devote more time to governance than to fighting elections a better proposal will be to hold elections only once a year. This should be done in a given time frame, say during the two months of October and November. This is a good time for electioneering, especially weather-wise. Also, being a festival season, a good time for the people to choose in the stress-free socio-political atmosphere. This way the terms of some state assemblies may have to be curtailed or advanced, but only by a few months.

To minimise the need for holding by-polls the law should be amended that a minister, Chief Minister or a Prime Minister can only be elected from among the elected members. This way no outside person can be sworn in as a minister, and there will be no need for him or her to get elected in six months of being sworn in. In any case, it is an insult to the electorate, as well as the elected members, when an outsider is thrust upon them as their leader. This practice must stop. All by-polls necessitated by death or resignation of some members too should be held only during October/November when yearly elections become due. This way a caretaker government, if it gets formed anywhere, will have to govern at the state level or the centre at the most for a year which is manageable.

The benefit of holding once-a-year elections, and that during the given period, will be that the governments can devise their governance agenda in a manner that does not get affected by any election code of conduct as they will know in advance when the code of conduct will be coming into effect. The Election Commission too can plan its activities and make its preparations more effectively. The EVMs and the VVPAT machines, which are prone to malfunction in hot weather, can also be expected to perform more smoothly when the weather is mild in October and November.

The above suggestion, if implemented, will result in a win-win situation for all concerned, be it the political parties, the candidates, the public and the Election Commission of India.

You must be to comment.
  1. Madhu Rajiv Bhayana

    ‌The concept of simultaneous polls isn’t new to the country. It has been a subject of debate for several years and now once again in consideration after Prime Minister floats the idea of having simultaneous elections.
    There are undoubted benefits in conducting national and state elections together. It would reduce the significant amount of time conducting elections in terms of the use of paramilitary forces, government staff on election duty, organizing booths, EC staff, voter slips, and electronic voting machines. 
    To acquire a pleasing law & order situation and economic development situation, we require simultaneous elections in India. As the moral code of conduct is enforced during elections, this hampers the pace of economic development. 
    If this proposal is applied to the states and local bodies, we can also have transparency in all branches of the government.
    ‌The politicians waste one whole year in election speeches, and rallies. If all elections are held in one particular year, it will give a clear four years to the political parties to focus on good governance.

    Good Idea sir Mr YPS Mohan

  2. Robin Singh

    Good ideas

More from Yashpal S Mohan

Similar Posts

By Nafisa Hasan

By Birbal Jha

By Imran Khan

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below