The central government has created a new panel of eight members that will be led by former President Ram Nath Kovind. The idea is to explore the potential of ‘One Nation, One Election’. It intends to conduct general and state elections simultaneously.
The initiative comes a day after the government came up with a special session of Parliament between 18 and 22 September 2023. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promoting the idea of coexisting Lok Sabha and state assembly polls for quite a sometime. The notification with regard to the panel members will be released later.
The main motive behind the concept of One Nation, One Election means that the polls for Lok Sabha and all state assemblies all over India will be held parallelly. Modi has been a strong promoter of the One Nation, One Election since he came to power as the Prime Minister of India in 2014. He has always mentioned how the constant election cycle has been financial trouble and affects the development work during the elections. Kovind also supported the idea after he was elected as the President in 2017.
Here are some of the benefits of the campaign. One Nation, One Election will reduce the cost of holding elections. It will reduce the burden on administrative and security forces who are asked to work many times for election purposes. The government can then concentrate more on governance rather than keep campaigning to win elections.
As per the Law Commission, simultaneous elections will lead to a better voter turnout as it will be easier for the citizens of the country to cast many ballots at one go, according to a report. The disadvantage of the campaign is that changes would need to be made in the Constitution and other legal frameworks. As the campaign makes it a national one so the regional problems will be overlooked by the parties and people in general. All political parties to come together and have an agreement is a major challenge.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has called the initiative to be a conspiracy to push the polls ahead in the nation. Also, AAP leader Sanjay Singh that it is quite evident that BJP is afraid as they think that they will lose three state elections. The INDIA alliance has created a hurdle for them. Thus, they have come up with the One India, One Election Bill.
On the other hand, it is reported that Modi will not be attending the yearly UN General Assembly session that will be conducted later in September 2023. Instead of Modi, it is believed that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will address the high-level week.
While Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday came up with double attacks on the BJP-led central government. Gandhi alleged that the saffron party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘work for two or three billionaires’ in India. This is in reference to the latest reports of Adani Group’s alleged stock manipulation.
When he was addressing a rally in the poll-bound Chhattisgarh, Gandhi said, “Whether the (Congress-led) governments in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh or the forthcoming governments in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh, will be the government of poor not the government of Adani”.