ONE NATION ONE ELECTION – TRUE OR FALSE
The election system is the pillar of Indian democracy. Government is by
the people, in whom the supreme power is vested in the people and
exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free
electoral system, this is the definition of democracy. In the phrase of
Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government “of the people, by the
people, and for the people.” Elections are conducted to allow the
common to participate in making political decisions. Common men have
many responsibilities in their personal and professional life. It is the
election that helps them choose their leaders to run the country.
The Election Commission of India is one of the few government
agencies in the world that operates around the clock all year. The
The Election Commission of India is responsible for overseeing the
Panchayat, District Board, State Assemblies, Legislative Council, Lok
Sabha, Rajya Sabha, President, and Vice-President. The Commission
spends nearly all of its time counting ballots, verifying voter lists, and
delineating constituencies. The purity of the election process requires strict
vigil on the part of the Election Commission.
Currently, elections to the state legislatures and the Lok Sabha are held
independently, either when the incumbent government's five-year tenure
expires or when it is dissolved for a variety of reasons. This holds true
for state legislatures as well as the Lok Sabha. The terms of the
Legislative Assemblies and the Lok Sabha may or may not coincide.
Rajasthan, for example, held elections in late 2018, but Tamil Nadu will
not hold elections until 2021. elections are held virtually every month –
Assam, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, among other states, recently held
elections — and they cost a lot of money. Buying support, then buying
supporters, then buying them Bikes/Cars so that they have ample
mobility in your campaigning, then paying for the poster & hoarding
battle, paying for their daily costs, paying for parties and treats is all
standard procedure in India. Overall, in 98 percent of situations,
contesting an election is prohibitively expensive. Just 2 years back in
2019 staggering Rs 55,000-60,000 crore was spent in the Lok Sabha
elections, according to a study by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS).
To transform this election system the Prime Minister of India recently
advocated a ‘one nation, one election (ONOE) system, and a single
voters’ list, saying that election taking place every month hinders
development. Addressing the concluding session of the 80th All India
Presiding Officers Conference via videoconference, at Kevadiya
(Gujarat) on the occasion of Constitution Day (26th November) the
prime minister made a strong for simultaneous election. He also added
that ONOE is not just an issue of notion, but also the need of the nation.
the idea is supported by the current President Shri Ram Nath Kovind as
well as the former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
In a situation where country’s development and can also hamper long-
term policymaking is at stake a thorough examination and discussion of
the concept of "one nation, one election" is vital. One would think that
the idea was novel, but India had one nation in the past and elections
were only based on this concept in 1952, 1957, 1962, and 1967.
Lok Sabha and State legislatures went to polls together in 1952 and
1957. This synchronized cycle was initially broken in Kerala in July
1959, when, following elections in April 1957, the Center invoked
Article 356 of the Constitution to dismiss the EMS Namboodiripad
ministry of the Communist Party. The elections followed in February
1960 by state elections. With the decline in popularity in Congress,
major setbacks were suffered during the elections of 1967 in several states
such as Bihar, UP, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, Orissa, and Madras.
Defections and counter-defections eventually resulted in the dissolution
of assemblies which divided many States' polling cycles from the
Central one. In India, for example, "one nation, one election". So, “one
nation, one election” was prevalent in India initially before the cycle
broke due to Congress’s fortunes. Interestingly, the Election
Commission had suggested back in 1983 that such simultaneous polls
can be worked out.
A call for simultaneous Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections has the
advantage of reducing expenditures by political parties with large war
chests used for manufacturing consent through advertisements, rallies,
and the distribution of freebies, as well as channeling state machinery
required for polling place administration. Furthermore, the frequent
imposition of the EC's Model Code of Conduct months before elections
freezes much-needed capital expenditure for development projects.
Implementing simultaneous polls will lend a hand to cut money and
administrative expenses, as already discussed political parties spend a lot
on campaigning. Instead of constantly campaigning, the ruling parties
will be able to focus on legislation and governance. It is also expected
that if simultaneous elections are held, the number and percentage of
voters who come out of their homes to vote will increase. These
advantages would benefit the entire country.
Whereas on the other hand most critics say that such a concept is
unconstitutional and anything that goes against the Constitution in India
cannot be followed because it is the Supreme Constitution in India. The
Constitution actually does not say clearly if we can or cannot have the
policy of ‘ONOE’. However, holding Lok Sabha and state assembly
elections at the same time in 2019 may violate some constitutional
provisions. The tenure of the Lok Sabha is specified in Article 83(2),
which states that it shall be for five years unless dissolved earlier.
Similarly, Article 172 states that State Assemblies have a 5-year term
unless dissolved earlier. However, for specific reasons only the state
meetings can be resolved pursuant to Article 356 of the Constitution and
the simultaneous elections would constitute an infringement of the
Constitution by dissolving the assembly.
Moreover, simultaneous polls would benefit the nationally dominant
party at the expense of regional players. They also claim that holding
simultaneous elections will cause complications if, for example, any of
the state governments fail before the end of their term. They've also
pointed out that holding simultaneous elections would cause logistical
problems, necessitating roughly twice as many electronic voting
machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
Actually, the issue is a confluence of political and legal dimensions. The
BJP is in favor of this idea of one nation, one election because it believes
that it will help BJP to have a strong government throughout the country.
An assumption can also be drawn that the agenda can be the next big
gamble, just as demonetization can bring huge support for the
party. Other parties, such as Congress, still lack a strong face as the
central leader, and â€ one nation, one election may result in it losing
even in states where it is in power.
Elections would necessitate a constitutional amendment, which would
require support from both houses. Without the amendment, it would be
impossible to dissolve state governments and hold simultaneous
elections in all states.
There are several commentators who seem to have the all types of
notions. In my opinion ‘One nation, one election' may appear to be a
daunting endeavor, but it is feasible, workable, and cost-effective in the
long term, resulting in less corruption and better openness and
accountability. True, bringing the concept of "one Nation, one election"
to fulfillment will need a great deal of conviction.
It is self-evident that the Constitution and other laws would need to be
changed. However, in a country where constitutional modifications
average one and a half each year, this is hardly a reason against the idea.
Fears of the Centre acquiring more power or regional parties being
disadvantaged during concurrent elections appear naive. We all are
aware that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has demonstrated his
commitment to one-ness and effective last-mile delivery by numerous
initiatives like "one country, one tax" and "one nation, one ration
If electoral change is required for national growth, the country should
take the lead in implementing it. Only debating such an important topic
will not be enough; instead, public opinion should be solicited on "one
nation, one vote" poll. Thus “One nation, one election” can definitely be
a concept whose time has come.
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