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Centre Forms Panel On ‘One Nation One Election’ | Ex-President Ram Nath Kovind To Head The Panel

Sep 1, 2023

The Indian government has established a committee to delve into the feasibility of implementing a ‘One Nation, One Election’ system. This committee, headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind, will assess the possibility of holding simultaneous national and state elections across the country. The move comes amidst intense speculation surrounding a surprise announcement of a special session of the parliament scheduled from September 18 to 22, without revealing the agenda. While there is speculation that a bill related to ‘One Nation, One Election’ might be tabled during the session, no official confirmation has been provided by the government.

‘One Nation, One Election’ refers to the idea of conducting Lok Sabha (national parliament) and state assembly elections simultaneously across India. This concept was prevalent in India until 1967 when it was discontinued due to various political factors. The proposal has gained renewed attention, with the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi supporting the idea. It was also included in the BJP’s 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto as part of their commitment to electoral reforms.

Historical Context:

Historically, simultaneous elections were the norm in India until 1967 when the practice was discontinued due to premature dissolution of some state assemblies and the early dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1970, leading to mid-term elections in 1971.

Political Promises:

The BJP’s 2014 Lok Sabha Election Manifesto pledged to work on implementing simultaneous elections to reduce election expenses and provide stability for state governments.

Prime Minister’s Perspective:

Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly argued that frequent elections strain the nation’s resources and disrupt governance. He has emphasized that ‘One Nation, One Election’ could provide a solution to these challenges.

Opposition’s Response:

The opposition, represented by the Communist Party of India’s General Secretary, D Raja, has criticized the BJP, alleging an obsession with various ‘One Nation’ concepts. He also mentioned that the unity of opposition parties under the INDIA banner has caused unease within the BJP.

Constitutional Amendment Required:

Experts have pointed out that realizing the ‘One Nation, One Election’ proposal would necessitate a constitutional amendment. Such an amendment would require the support of two-thirds of the members in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, making it a substantial legislative endeavor.

one nation one election

Upcoming Elections:

As the committee begins its work, it’s worth noting that assembly polls are scheduled in five Indian states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram – in November-December. Furthermore, Lok Sabha elections are anticipated to take place around May next year.

The formation of the committee, headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind, marks a significant step in the ongoing discussions about ‘One Nation, One Election.’ Its findings and recommendations will be closely watched as India considers potential electoral reforms.

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