SRINAGAR: Former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has been appointed as a member of a high-level committee constituted by the Government of India to examine the issue of simultaneous elections.
The Union Ministry of Law & Justice on Saturday established a high-level committee under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind to explore the matter of holding simultaneous elections.
Azad has been appointed as a member of the panel due to his previous role as the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
The other members of the committee include Amit Shah (Union Minister for Home Affairs & Cooperatives), Adhir Ranjan Choudhary (leader of the single largest party in the Lok Sabha), N.K. Singh (former chairman of the 15th Finance Commission), Dr Subash Kashyap (former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha), Harish Salve (senior advocate), and Sanjay Kothari (former Chief Vigilance Commissioner).
As per the order, the committee shall examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, Municipalities, and Panchayats. This will be done while considering the existing framework under the Constitution of India and other statutory provisions.
Furthermore, the committee will recommend specific amendments to the Constitution, Representation of Peoples Act, and the rules made thereunder. Additionally, it will consider any other laws or rules that may require amendments to facilitate the holding of simultaneous elections.
The committee will also assess whether the amendments to the Constitution would require ratification by the States. (KNO)