Simultaneous elections that is one nation one election concept in India have been a subject of speculation for quite a few years. Back in 2016, the idea was floated once again by Prime minister Narendra Modi.
Fast forward to 2019, a meeting of various political parties’ leaders was held in June for building a consensus for conducting one-time elections. After the meeting, it was announced that a committee will be set up for giving suggestions on the proposed concept.
So what is it all about?
Basically, ‘one nation, one election’ proposes the establishment of a system in which elections to Lok Sabha as well as all the states and union territories will be held simultaneously.
The Indian election cycle will be restructured in a way that the centre and state elections synchronize.
This way, the voters will be able to cast their vote for electing their representatives for the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies on the same day.
Is One time election a familiar concept?
Until 1967, simultaneous elections were the norm in India.
Since some Legislative Assemblies were dissolved earlier owing to various reasons, the practice was discontinued in 1968-1969.
Voices in support of re-introducing simultaneous elections have been raised time and again but lack of consensus among political parties has been hindering its revival.
Why simultaneous elections? that is One Nation One Election Concept In India.
- Separate elections involve enormous cost. Perhaps the strongest argument in favour of simultaneous elections is that it will help save the government money.
- Separate elections affect the state machinery and may lead to ‘policy paralysis.’ One time election will pave way for the much-needed continuity in programs and policies of the central as well as the state governments.
- Ideally, this concept is supposed to bring down the amount of time and resources invested in the conduction of elections.
- The Law Commission is of the view that simultaneous polls will aid in boosting the turnout.
- The use of black money by candidates during elections is no secret. The concept of one nation one election can also help curb the flow of black money.
Arguments against simultaneous elections:
- The elections for Lok Sabha and the state assemblies are fought on varied issues. Separate elections help in making sure the national and local issues don’t get mixed up.
- Simultaneous elections may reduce the government’s accountability to the citizens.
- One time elections may give regional parties a hard time as they cannot match up to national parties when it comes to election strategy or expenditure.
- Conducting simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies will require a huge amount of resources and machinery.
- Conducting simultaneous election will require constitutional amendments.