oppn parties Shorter Elections Are The Need Of The Times

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Shorter Elections Are The Need Of The Times

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The curtain has come down on the longest and most contentious elections in recent times. The elections proved that stretching the exercise for so long is not a good thing. Given the fact that Central forces need to be deputed for the exercise and that they are in short supply, ideally, the elections should be held in four phases, with a gap of 4/5 days between each. This would facilitate the movement of forces from one region to another.

One feels that India should be divided into four parts for this purpose – south, north, west and east. The south can include Andhra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, a total of 132 seats. The north can include UP, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, Uttaranchal and J&K, making up 126 seats. The west can include Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Madhya Pradesh, again a total of 132 seats. The east will have Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and the rest of the north-east for 153 seats. Union territories will be absorbed in respective regions. If elections are held in each region with a gap of 4 days, the whole process will be completed in 16 days and the results will be out of the 19th or 20th day.

That would shorten the exercise and perhaps also reduce the expenditure of candidates. The only thing that will not be possible will be the big and repeated rallies by star campaigners. But with so many other avenues now available to political parties, the reliance on public rallies should be reduced in any case. Further, it is not the Election Commission’s job to facilitate campaigning by parties. It should conduct elections in a way that it takes the shortest time and causes the least inconvenience to the people. One feels that a shortened exercise will also reduce incidents of violence. The EC rightly calls the elections” Desh ka Maha Tyohar” or the mega festival of the country. But it should also recognize that very long festivals can get irritating and boring.