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The Indian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has taken a significant step by constituting a committee to explore the feasibility of the ‘One Nation, One Election’ concept. This ambitious idea aims to synchronize Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament) elections with State Assembly polls, potentially streamlining the election process in India.
The Committee’s Mission
Former President Ram Nath Kovind heads this committee, tasked with delving into the practicality and mechanisms of implementing this concept. The objective is to revert to the historical practice of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections, which was prevalent until 1967.
Consultations and Expert Opinions
To achieve this goal, Mr. Kovind is expected to engage with experts and consult leaders from various political parties. This inclusive approach seeks to gather insights and perspectives from diverse stakeholders.
The Rationale Behind ‘One Nation, One Election’
The idea of simultaneous elections has gained traction due to several reasons, including:
- Reduced Financial Burden: Frequent elections impose a substantial financial burden on the country, diverting resources away from other essential areas.
- Development Uninterrupted: Continuous election cycles disrupt the development process, primarily due to the enforcement of the model code of conduct.
A Call for Consensus
Both Prime Minister Modi and President Kovind have advocated for a sustained debate on this matter. They hope that a consensus can be reached among political parties regarding the feasibility of ‘One Nation, One Election.’
As the Modi government approaches the end of its second term, it appears determined to move decisively on this issue. This strategic decision is seen as a way to underline the government’s commitment to governance and development.
For the ruling BJP, championing this concept aligns with its history of pursuing grand ideas to garner popular support. Additionally, it could catch the Opposition off-guard.
Elections on the Horizon
India faces a series of elections in the near future, with Assembly polls in five states and the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for May-June next year. However, recent government actions have raised the possibility of advancing these elections, potentially reshaping the political landscape.
Some state elections, including Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, could coincide with the Lok Sabha polls. This could have interesting implications, especially considering the BJP’s relationships with key leaders in these regions.
In conclusion, the ‘One Nation, One Election’ concept represents a significant step in Indian politics. It has the potential to reshape the electoral landscape and streamline the election process, reducing the financial burden and ensuring uninterrupted development.
Source: The Hindu