One Nation One Election In India
One Nation, One Election
Idea of one nation one election is in news now a days after it got push from Prime Minister and ex-president. However political parties are divided on this issue. Recently political parties of J&K urged election commission to hold state election with upcoming Lok Sabha election. Law Commission has also recommended for holding all election simultaneously.
The term one nation one election refers to conduct Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assembly, Panchayati Raj and Local bodieselection simultaneously.
One nation One election is not a new idea India witnessed simultaneous election till 1967. In 1967 non congress government were elected in many states. And many of these states were imposed president rule and simultaneous election came to an end.
➢ Merits of One Nation One election
• It will save lot of time and money spent during time of election.
• Ruling parties will focus on governance rather than campaigning forever.
• Model code of conduct will be imposed once in five year, that will reduce policy paralysis.
• It will reduce the need of manpower and machinery like CAPF, Police etc. during election.
• Populist measure by government will reduce.
• This will help curbing vices like corruption, communalism, casteism, crony capitalism etc.
➢ Demerits of One Nation One Election
There are many challenges in conducting election simultaneously like: -
• Not all voters highly educated they can get confused between lok sabha and legislature election.
• IDFC study shows that there are 77% chances that Indian voter will vote for same party in both the election. This will impose a threat for small political parties.
• Frequent election takes politician back to the voters and keeps them active.
• Frequent election prevents mixing of national and local issues.
• There is dearth of enough security and manpower to conduct election simultaneously.
• Different state governments are ending their terms on different dates.
➢ Constitutional issues
There are many articles in Indian constitution that are to be amended like:-
• Article 83 that deals with the duration of houses of parliament.
• Article 85 that deals with dissolution of lok sabha by president
• Article 172(duration of state legislature )
• Article 174(dissolution of state legislature)
• Article 356(president rule)
➢ Way forward
Any changes in constitution must not change the “basic structure” of constitution. A group of constitutional experts, think tanks, government officials and representative of political parties should be formed to work out appropriate implementation details.
To avoid premature dissolution of lok sabha no confidence motion along with confidence motion should be performed that will give an alternate leader to the house.
One nation one election is inclined towards unitary system that is against the basic structure of constitution so Election Commission’s idea of “one year one election” will better suited as it will require fewer amendments to the constitution, it will respect the essence of the exercise of popular will, unlike one nation one election which prioritizes economic costs of elections over the exercise itself, it will avoid clubbing of national and state issues, it will not disturb federalism much, not much issues generated by emergencies like need to hold by-election etc will be addressed by this option.