Parliament and Assembly Elections must be held Simultaneously

Frequent elections have made the manifestos redundant. They have now become an exercise in futility, although they were never taken seriously by most people. The general impression is that manifestos are merely for discussions and debates of some elites, who claim to be intellectuals but hardly have any say in the decision-making process of political parties or the electorates because elections are mostly held on the castes and religious considerations. For example, Muslims except for a group of Shias, never vote for the BJP irrespective of its highly promising manifestos. More or less the same is the case with Christians. Manifestos are, therefore, meaningless for them because their only agenda is to defeat the BJP.
Look at the schemes of the BJP governments, which have been benefitting all sections of society regardless of their castes or communities and yet they are clear-headed that they would go for any candidate, who can defeat the BJP. In some places, certain castes of Hindus also vote for a specific party, even if the candidates fielded by it are unworthy of contesting any election. Hence, the manifesto is of no use to them. Unemployment and inflation are the issues that are raised only against a particular party i.e., the BJP but all other works done by it are conveniently overlooked.
The elections are no longer once in the five years affair, they are held around the year in some or other part of the country. Almost every year some or other assemblies are in election mode giving little time to the parties to strictly adhere to their manifestos. Winning elections, somehow or other, therefore, becomes their agenda. In the process, these parties instead of sticking to their manifestos make tall promises to their electorates, which can give them immediate gains.
This keeps the Election Commission and other state machinery busy with poll activities rather than doing other normal work. The ultimate loser is thus the general public. Therefore, the good thing will be to hold the elections of parliament and other assemblies simultaneously, after five years, which is what has been contemplated in 83(2) for the Parliament and 172(1) for the state assemblies under the Indian constitution. The Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Parishads are never dissolved because one-third of their members retire every two years after completing six years term.
There have been no problems because the Elections for assemblies and the Lok Sabha used to be held simultaneously until 1967 when in many states voters threw up hung assemblies. Similarly, mid-term polls were also held for the Lok Sabha disturbing the set schedules for holding the elections once in five years. Frequent elections allow the political parties and their leaders to give wide berth to the promises made in their manifestos. This is the reason that many irresponsible politicians make such wild promises as cannot be translated into reality, but their real intent is to come to power anyhow.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to go to the old days and make such laws that come what may, there would not be mid-term polls of the assemblies and they would be held simultaneously throughout the country. If no party gets an absolute majority, then President’s Rule automatically gets imposed till the absolute majority is cobbled by any leader or party. Therefore, there would not be any problem in the states, but the problem would arise at the national level because there is no constitutional provision for President’s Rule at the Centre. This is a very complex and knotty problem, which will need the collective wisdom of all stakeholders to solve it. Since it is a problem of the entire country, so it is not difficult to get all the stakeholders on board for finding an acceptable solution.
Thus, it is amply clear that manifestos are inextricably linked to elections. If any party is given time to be in power continuously for five years, it will be accountable to the public and will be cautious enough in making promises. However, if the political parties are not sure of getting a majority they will continue to play with the emotions of the electorates. They will adopt the policy of appeasement by giving a complete go-by to the interests, progress and welfare of the people and the state. Therefore, hopefully, politicians of all hues and colours, the Election Commission of India and the Judiciary will have to apply their minds to ensure that Constitutional mandates are not defeated and allowed to go haywire.