HLC recommends simultaneous elections, says it will enhance transparency, inclusivity, confidence of voters

New Delhi: Those who opposed Simultaneous Elections raised apprehension that it will result in presidential form of government.

BY | Thursday, 14 March, 2024

The High Level Committee on Simultaneous Elections under the Chairmanship of former President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, submitted its 18,626 pages Report to the President of India, Droupadi Murmu on Thursday. In the past 191 days, the Committee held extensive consultations with stakeholders and experts to understand their views.

“Based on the suggestion received from political parties, experts and other stakeholders, the Committee was of the unanimous view that simultaneous elections will bring fundamental transformation in the electoral process and overall governance,” the report stated.

The report says 47 political parties submitted their views and suggestions, out of which 32 supported simultaneous elections and 15 opposed it. The analysis of the feedback received through email, the website of the High Level Committee, and by post revealed that 80% of the 21,558 responses were in favour of simultaneous election. The responses came from all corners of the country, including Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, Nagaland, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli. The highest responses were received from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, the report said.

Those who opposed Simultaneous Elections raised apprehensions that its adoption could violate the basic structure of the Constitution, be anti-democratic and anti-federal, marginalise regional parties, encourage the dominance of national parties, and result in a presidential form of government.

Experts on law such as four former Chief Justices of India and twelve former Chief Justices of major High Courts, four former Chief Election Commissioners of India, eight State Election Commissioners, and Chairman, Law Commission of India were invited by the Committee for interaction in person. Views of the Election Commission of India were also sought.


  1. After careful consideration of all suggestions and viewpoints, the Committee recommended a two-step approach to lead to the simultaneous elections:
    As the first step, Simultaneous Elections will be held for the House of the People and the State Legislative Assemblies. For this, no ratification by the States will be required for the Constitutional Amendment.– In the second step, elections to the Municipalities and the Panchayats will be synchronised with the House of the People and the State Legislative Assemblies in such a way that Municipalities and Panchayats elections are held within hundred days of holding elections to the House of the People and the State Legislative Assemblies. This will require ratification by not less than one-half of the States
  2. For the purpose of preparation of single electoral roll and electoral photo identity cards (EPIC) for use in elections to all the three tiers of Government, amendments in the Constitution of India are recommended to enable Election Commission of India to prepare a single electoral roll and EPIC in consultation with the State Election Commissions. These amendments will require ratification by not less than one-half of the States.
  3. In the event of a hung House, no-confidence motion, or any such event, fresh elections should be held to constitute the new House of the People or State Legislative Assembly for the “unexpired term” of the House of the People.
  4. The Committee recommends that for meeting logistical requirements, the Election Commission of India will plan and estimate in advance in consultation with the State Election Commissions, and take steps for the deployment of polling personnel, security forces, EVMs/VVPATs, etc., so that free and fair Simultaneous Elections are held in all the three tiers of the Government.

The members of the High Level Committee were Amit Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, N.K. Singh, former Chairman, 15th Finance Commission, Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap, former Secretary General, Lok Sabha, Harish Salve, Senior Advocate, and Sanjay Kothari, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Law and Justice was a Special Invitee and Dr. Niten Chandra was the Secretary of the HLC.

You cannot copy content of this page