Initiating what could be the first structured discussion on the issue, an all-party Parliamentary panel is exploring “different systems of elections”, other than the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system that is currently followed in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. Citing “apprehensions” that the FPTP may not be the “best suited system”, as “evident” from the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election results, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, has sent a six-page “Questionnaire on Electoral Reforms” to all parties and the Election Commission. “There are different systems of elections — like first-past-the-post (FPTP), list system (open list and closed system), proportional representation, ranked or preferential voting, and mixed systems. In our country we follow FPTP for Parliament and Legislative Assemblies’ elections and proportional representation for the election of President…What is your view in the matter and please also suggest the alternative system, if any,” says the questionnaire.
“Apprehensions are now being raised that in recent years the FPTP system is not the best suited system as is evident from the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, where results have indicated that a party getting 39 per cent vote share won 312 seats and parties getting 22 per cent and 21 per cent got only 47 and 19 seats respectively,” it adds. While it does not name the BJP, SP and BSP, the reference to their respective vote shares and the seats won in the state elections is obvious.
In the past, the Congress and other Opposition leaders have, on several occasions, reminded the BJP that it won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls because of the FPTP system, as the party polled only about 31 per cent of the vote share.