Former President to Head Committee on ‘One Nation, One Election’
The BJP is pushing ahead with its buzzword “One Nation, One Election”, with the central government forming a committee to look into the possibility of holding one election in the country. And this will be the first time a former president – in this case, Ram Nath Kovind will head the committee.
However, critics believe it’s a waste of time and resources as the Lok Sabha (general) election is due in April – May 2024, and just a couple of months for elections to five state assemblies. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi believes the talk of One Nation, One Election is just a distraction.
Word is that the government might introduce the One Nation, One Election bill during the special Parliament session from September 18 to 22. But passing the bill is not easy as it requires a constitutional amendment to be passed by both houses of Parliament, with a two-thirds majority and 50 percent of the state assemblies in agreement.
Officials say holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies would need at least five constitutional amendments and a large number of additional EVMs, and paper-trail machines, costing thousands of crores of rupees.
The idea of One Nation, One Election has been Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call since he came to power in 2014. Moreover, it has been extensively discussed since 2017. Kovind had supported the idea when he became President in 2017. “Frequent elections not only impose a huge burden on human resources, but also impede the development process due to the promulgation of the model code of conduct.”
In 2022 on National Voters’ Day, PM Modi said a continuous cycle of election hampers development works. “Pushing for discussion on “One Nation, One Election”, and “One Nation, One Voters’ List” will let different points of view emerge.”
Political analysts believe One Nation, One Election is one of BJP’s animated, grander themes and big ticket idea to rally support.