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The complex idea of 'one nation one poll' for India

Once again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed for his long-pending idea of ‘one nation one poll’

The complex idea of ‘one nation one poll’ for India
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The complex idea of ‘one nation one poll’ for India

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Once again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed for his long-pending idea of 'one nation one poll'. Addressing the concluding session of the All India Presiding Officers' Conference on Thursday, the Prime Minister went on to say that 'one nation one election' is a necessity for India as frequent polls in one part of the country or the other are hampering developmental activities. He also pointed out that frequent elections cost the nation dearly as election is an expensive process.

This is not the first time that the Prime Minister has made his intentions clear on the idea. He pitched for it during his first term as Prime Minister that began in 2014. Further, BJP, the political party he represents, also included it in its election manifesto. Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day this year, he rooted for the simultaneous elections.

The country's Law Commission which prepared a report on this also supported the idea, saying it would save public time and money. The NITI Aayog also delved into the issue and came up with a suggestion of synchronised polling in phases for Lok Sabha and assembly polls from 2024. The Election Commission of India (EC), however, maintained in the past that the idea could be taken forward only after achieving political consensus.

However, barring some political parties, there is not much opposition to the idea. As the Prime Minister said, it will obviously save precious time and money. But it's a complex proposal. So, implementing it is not going to be a cakewalk. The first hurdle will be the staggered tenures of different State assemblies. It is not easy to convince ruling regional parties to forgo their tenures in favour of the idea. With the talk that simultaneous polls would damage the federal fabric of the country's democracy, regional parties are unlikely to agree for it.

The other tricky issue is what happens if a State government falls mid-way post the implementation. That can happen to the central government as well. Furthermore, political defections have become the order of the day as politicians are not averse to switching loyalties after winning the elections. As we saw in Maharashtra and other States, political parties are also dumping alliance partners after the polls. These activities are nothing but subversion of people's will. Without addressing these loopholes in our electoral system, the concept of 'one nation one election' will not work. Nevertheless, it's a good idea. But the problem lies in its implementation which is complex in nature. However, everyone should support every idea that strengthens our democracy and recognises the true will of people.

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