The Indian government has taken a big step by creating a committee under the direction of former president Ram Nath Kovind to examine the possibility of “One Nation, One Election.” According to PTI, this development was disclosed on September 1. Furthermore, Parliament will meet in extraordinary session from September 18 to 22, 2023, according to Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi. There is a lot of conjecture and interest in politics because the agenda for this special session is yet unknown.
In the midst of this excitement, concerns arise regarding the meaning of “One Nation, One Election.” What are some of this concept’s potential benefits and drawbacks? These questions will be thoroughly examined in this paper.
‘One Nation, One Election’: An Understanding
In India, the idea of “One Nation, One Election” aims to time the Lok Sabha (the country’s lower house of Parliament) election with those for all state assemblies. The goal is to hold these elections simultaneously, either on a single day or at a defined period of time. Prime Minister Modi has steadfastly pushed for simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and state legislatures over the years. Ram Nath Kovind being given the duty of investigating this idea shows how committed the government is, especially when several elections are approaching. The Lok Sabha elections, which are anticipated to take place in May or June 2024, would be followed by the assembly elections in five states later this year, in November or December. However, as reported by PTI, recent government initiatives have increased the likelihood of moving up the general election and several state polls.
‘One Nation, One Election’ advantages
Cost effectiveness: One of the main advantages of “One Nation, One Election” is the huge decrease in election costs. Separate elections currently require significant financial resources, therefore simplifying them could result in significant savings.
Efficiency in administration: By holding elections simultaneously, the administrative and security personnel would not have to perform election-related tasks repeatedly. This might result in more effective government operations.
Enhanced Governance: With the adoption of “One Nation, One Election,” the government will be able to focus more on governance as opposed to being in a constant election mode, which frequently impedes the execution of policies and decision-making.
Increased Voter Turnout: According to the Law Commission, simultaneous elections may result in a rise in voter turnout. According to India Today, it would be more practical for people to submit multiple ballots at once.
‘One Nation, One Election’ disadvantages
Amendments to the Constitution and other legal systems are required in order to implement “One Nation, One Election.” A constitutional amendment and ensuing state assembly ratification would be necessary for this idea. Although it was done four times in the 1950s and 1960s, it should be remembered that at the time, according to ANI, India had fewer states and a smaller population.
Risk of Ignoring Regional Issues: It’s also possible that national issues will take precedence over regional ones, which could have an impact on state-level elections. In the quest of a unified election cycle, regional variety and concerns can be disregarded.