The power of two: on simultaneous
elections to the Assemblies and Lok Sabha
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Election process
Mains level: Simultaneous election procedure
- Parliamentary elections in India have increasingly been influenced
by State-level political variables beyond the performance of the ruling
parties and the Opposition at the Centre.
- This factor is likely to be even more salient in the four States
facing simultaneous elections to the Assemblies and the Lok Sabha: Andhra
Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
- In Andhra Pradesh, the two main rivals are regional forces, the
Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party and the Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy-led
YSR Congress Party.
- In 2014, the TDP had successfully fought elections in alliance
with the BJP, and the Congress faced a backlash because of the bifurcation
of the State during its tenure.
Political situation in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha
- This time TDP having broken its alliance with the BJP, the
regional parties are in a direct contest, and the national parties relegated
to being minor players.
- Andhra Pradesh has faced acute fiscal concerns after bifurcation,
and the TDP government would be keen to reassure voters over concerns about
the State’s economy.
- It fared the best in the country on economic growth parameters,
with a significant increase in per capita income during the last five years
and successful delivery of irrigation schemes.
- On the flip side, delays in the construction of the new capital
city and the ballooning public debt suggest that Andhra still has structural
issues to overcome.
- The TDP and the YSRCP have tried a game of one-upmanship on
relations with the Centre and the denial of “special category status” for
the State, which it is argued is crucial to overcome fiscal issues.
- Both parties have significant support bases among OBCs and other
landowning communities, and the lack of any substantive differentiation
between them could make this a closely contested election.
- The two parties are also likely to be important players in a
post-election scenario at the national level.
- In Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal led by Naveen Patnaik has been in
power for 19 years, having bucked anti-incumbency largely due to
- Unlike in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress and particularly the BJP
have a stronger presence.
- The BJP, buoyed by its performance in the 2017 local body
elections, is expected to put up a stronger fight in the State’s Assembly
and Lok Sabha polls.
- The BJP is keen to make up for expected losses in its strongholds
in the north with gains in the east.
- India’s longest-serving Chief Minister, Pawan Kumar Chamling (in
power since 1994), and his Sikkim Democratic Front are expected to face a
more pronounced challenge from the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and the new
party launched by former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, the Hamro Sikkim
- In Arunachal Pradesh, the Permanent Resident Certificate issue
will figure as a dominant narrative during the elections even as the ruling
BJP seeks to link its campaign to the performance of the Central government.
Q.1) Who among the following can join the Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana,
recently launched by the Government of India?
(a) Person belongings to rural households.
(b) All the unemployed persons of age from 18 to 30.
(c) All the persons working under the MGNREGA.
(d) All insured persons covered under Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.
Q.1) Discuss the pros and cons of simultaneous election process.