One India, One Election

By Shailja Das

An idea proposed by PM Modi to overcome the alarming expense of frequent elections and chaotic scenario across the country. The proposed idea is not new in India. It is a long debated concept of holding simultaneous elections of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha. Its root can be traced during the first two decades of independence when the Lok Sabha and assembly polls were held simultaneously making the concept valid constitutionally. Hence, when PM Modi reiterated to build a concensus on the idea One Nation One Election, it reignited the debate once again.

The Law commission held a conference inviting various political parties to give their opinion on the possibility of materialising one nation one election but it concluded only with a tepid response. The question is whether such idea is ideal for not so mature democracy like India.

The idea of one nation one election aims at reducing govt expenditure resulting in lesser waste of resources. It is time saving and good for micro governance. It reduces policy paralysis and hence, the arguments supporting the concept continues. But is it really possible to implement such an idea in a country where politicians are biased while having a concensus and corruption is dagging the country’s development. The problem is not only because of the slanted mindsets of politicians rather in the obstacles while implementing it. The concept needs a pan India approach. It requires amendments in the constitution as some articles are contradictory in nature like Article 83 which deals with the duration of houses of Parliament, Article 85, dissolution of Lok Sabha by the President, Article 172,duration of state legislature, Article 174 , dissolution of state assemblies and Article 356 , Presidents rule. A strong, well administered Election Commission procuring enough EVMs and VVPATs is needed. We have to make sure that the national and regional interests will not be mixed up. Regional parties wont be interested in simultaneous elections, therefore, getting consent from all the regional parties is the major concern.

The concept of One Nation One Election would be a good change if its execution could be done properly with the help of efficient administrative policies and regulations. It needs to be further debated on the basis of the interests of our nation. The concept needs much more investment of thoughts before being a reality.. If there can be ONE NATION ONE TAX, there can be ONE NATION ONE ELECTION.

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