What are the key recommendations of the High-level Committee on simultaneous elections. Critically evaluate the feasibility of transitioning to simultaneous elections in India.


The high-level committee on simultaneous elections headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind has submitted its report to the President Droupadi Murmu.


  • Introduce your answer by defining simultaneous elections and mention the High-level Committee’s report.
  • In the main body, discuss the key recommendations of the committee on unified electoral cycles, phased implementation, constitutional amendments, safeguards, logistical planning, etc. Next, address the feasibility by discussing the positive aspects such as economic efficiency and enhanced governance, alongside negative aspects including logistical challenges, political resistance, impacts on regional parties, and local issues.
  • Conclude by emphasizing the need for careful consideration of all factors in any potential implementation plan.


Simultaneous elections refer to the proposal of aligning the electoral cycles of the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and local bodies to hold elections concurrently. This concept aims to reduce the frequency of elections and associated costs, aiming for efficiency and governance continuity. The High-level Committee on simultaneous elections, led by former President Ram Nath Kovind, has submitted an extensive report outlining recommendations to implement this system in India.

Key Recommendations of the High-level Committee on Simultaneous Elections:

  • Unified Electoral Cycle: The Committee emphasized the need to re-establish the cycle of simultaneous elections to mitigate the adverse effects on the economy, polity, and society.
    • Simultaneous elections were by and large in vogue until the fourth general elections of 1967.
  • Two-Step Implementation Process: starting with simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, followed by Municipal and Panchayat elections within 100 days.
    • This structured approach aims for a gradual transition to full simultaneity, minimizing disruption.
  • Appointed Date: To initiate this new electoral cycle, the President would issue a notification on the first sitting of the Lok Sabha post-General Election, ensuring a clear starting point for the synchronized election cycles.
  • Tenure Alignment for State Assemblies: elected between the ‘Appointed Date’ and the next Lok Sabha term end would have their tenures aligned to conclude with the subsequent General Elections.
    • Proposed amendments to Articles 83 and 172.
  • Safeguards for Continuity: In cases of a hung Parliament or Assembly, new elections should lead to a tenure only for the remaining term, ensuring the continuity of the simultaneous election cycle.
  • Introduction of Article 324A and Amendment of Article 325: To enable simultaneous elections for local bodies and create a Single Electoral Roll and ID, amendments to the Constitution and the Representation of the People Acts are recommended.
  • Logistical Planning: A detailed plan for the procurement and deployment of necessary equipment like EVMs and VVPATs, and manpower is suggested to ensure readiness for simultaneous elections.
    • The Election Commission of India and State Election Commissions would need to coordinate.
  • Formation of an Implementation Group: to oversee the execution of these recommendations, ensuring a smooth transition.
    • This body would manage the logistical and legal nuances of implementation.

Feasibility of Transitioning to Simultaneous Elections in India:

Positive Aspects:

  • Economic Efficiency: Transitioning to simultaneous elections could significantly reduce the recurrent costs associated with conducting multiple standalone elections.
    • Savings could be redirected towards development projects.
  • Enhanced Governance: With elections held once in five years, governments could focus more on policy implementation rather than constantly preparing for the next electoral cycle.
    • Reduced policy paralysis due to the model code of conduct.
  • Increased Voter Participation: A single, comprehensive election could boost voter turnout due to increased awareness and the significance of the election.
  • Decreased Political Polarization: Simultaneous elections could lead to a more unified national discourse, moving away from divisive, regional politics.

Negative Aspects

  • Logistical Challenges: The scale of organizing simultaneous elections across India poses significant logistical challenges, from ensuring enough EVMs and VVPATs to managing the security and training of personnel.
  • Potential For Voter Fatigue or Confusion: Voters might be overwhelmed by the need to make informed choices for multiple tiers of government at once, potentially diluting the quality of electoral decisions.
  • Political Resistance: The lack of unanimous support among political parties and concerns over undermining federalism could impede the adoption process.
  • Impact on Local Issues: There’s a risk that national issues might overshadow local concerns, potentially affecting the quality of democratic engagement at the state and local levels.
  • Impact on Regional Parties: Simultaneous elections could disadvantage smaller, regional parties that lack the resources, leading to a centralization of power.
  • Constitutional and Legal Hurdles: The HLC’s recommendation for 18 constitutional and statutory amendments adds complexity, particularly with the need for state ratification for local body elections.

While the High-level Committee’s recommendations for simultaneous elections offer a structured approach, the feasibility of adopting simultaneous elections hinges on balancing the envisioned efficiencies against the foundational principles of India’s democratic framework.

‘+1’ Value Addition:

  • The 22nd Law Commission, which is examining the simultaneous polls issue, is also expected to recommend the same from the 2029 general election cycle.
  • 80 per cent of the citizens who have responded to a public notice issued by the HLC supported simultaneous elections.
  • Only 32 out of 62 political parties contacted by the HLC supported the idea.
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