Advani favours fixed tenures of Lok Sabha, assemblies

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani said in his blog that he has recommended fixed tenures for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were ‘receptive’ to his proposal.

‘I had an informal chat… with Dr. Manmohan Singh and Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I found both of them receptive to a proposal I have been advocating for quite some time: fixed term legislatures and simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls. The upshot would be: no uncertainty about the date of the five-yearly Lok Sabha and assembly elections,’ Advani said in his recent blog entry.

Advani referred to the US model of fixed tenure as an example to back his proposal.

‘The presidential elections in the USA take place every four years… The law lays down even the exact date of polls. When it says that the election shall be held ‘on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November’… So the (next) election date in USA shall be November 6, 2012,’ Advani said in his blog.

He pointed out that even Britain, from where India adopted its present pattern where the executive has the authority to cut short the term of an elected legislature, is considering a change.

‘It is gratifying that Britain itself is now considering a change.’

He quoted Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as saying that it was wrong that governments can play politics with something as important as a general election, ‘cynically picking the date to maximize their own advantage’.

Clegg said the British government has set the date for the next election as May 7, 2015.

‘Except for the first two decades after independence almost every alternate year we have been witnessing a general or mini general elections,’ Advani said.

‘This’, he wrote to end his blog, ‘is not good for the health, either of our central and state governments, or of our polity. Let us seriously think about it.’