Is India ready for "One Nation, One Election?"

Last year our honourable PM demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and introduced new notes. Some are saying this move was a good move while some are calling it the worst move ever. Later, on 1st July 2017, GST (Goods and Service Tax) was introduced in India. These will be discussed later in the upcoming articles. For now, let us focus on our current topic, “One Nation, One Election.” 


What is “One Nation, One Election?” 

As the name implies, “One Nation, One Election” means a one-time election for the whole nation. For India, it means no separate elections for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
In a past interview, PM Modi said that there are too many elections held India that means a lot of money being wasted in elections. Even a holiday or half day is declared on the day of the election which even reduces the economy of India. Additionally, in order to reduce the losses, there should be simultaneous elections. He added that too many elections are hampering the development of India and problem with Indian Citizens is that we believe in principle, not in practice.

Later, even our former president Pranab Mukherjee gave a nod to this idea by supporting PM. On the contrary, experts suggest that this concept of “one nation one election” may not work in a nation as vast as India. According to them, there is a possibility that people may vote for the same party for different posts. Even the regional parties will have a major disadvantage.

 In short:

It is an idea based on good intentions but shortsighted in execution. There are three elections per region every five years.
  1. Local Municipal/Panchayat elections
  2. State assembly elections
  3. General elections

The point of one election is:

  1. Reduce cost
  2. Increase efficiency
  3. Reduce the electoral rhetoric
The points 1 and 2 are good but unavoidable because governments fall in less than five years (though with decreasing frequency)

 Advantages of “One Nation, One Election”:

  • A Huge reduction in cost.
  • Subsequent elections lead to mobilization of officials and stall of government projects due to the code of conduct.
  • Often we see there are a lot of candidates giving up their state Assembly seats for contesting general elections, thus making way for another by-election, which will be prevented in a single election.

Drawbacks:

  • Huge polarisation by national parties will reduce the participation of regional parties in the election process.
  • Getting majority government in both the centre and state is a major difficulty. As coalition governments often lead to sudden fall of governments, which will break the single election process.
  • State elections often help to check the progress of the Central government, if the policies are not functioning properly or if the government is being prudent to its citizens then they lose in state elections thus balancing powers in decision-making process.
  • Unless the voters of our country are matured enough to not get into caste-based politics and reservation, the single elections will give rise to many hung assemblies in states causing confusion for election council.
For “One Nation, One Election” to be applicable all the parties will have to agree to this concept for simultaneous elections for the centre and state govt.

We just have to wait and see what will be the decision of nation. However, one thing is sure, there will be a lot of controversies when it is officially announced.





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