Modi government forms ‘one nation, one election’ panel to explore idea of holding all polls together
The committee will be headed by former Indian president Ram Nath Kovind and submit its report.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi shows his ink-marked finger after casting ballot for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, in Ahmedabad on Monday, December 5, 2022. (ANI Photo)
THE Narendra Modi government has formed a committee to study the proposal of ‘one nation, one election’ which will be headed by former India president Ram Nath Kovind and submit its report.
The significant move comes a day after the government declared a special session of the parliament between September 18 and 22. Speculation is rife that a bill on ‘one nation, one election’ will be tabled during the session although no confirmation has come yet from the government side, an NDTV report said.
‘One nation, one election’ refers to holding the national and state elections across the country simultaneously. Prime minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have spoken on the issue on many occasions and the proposal was also a part of the party’s manifesto for the national elections of 2014.
If it is implemented successfully, it will not be the first time that in India all elections will be held simultaneously. In the first four elections in independent India between 1952 and 1967, they were held at the same time. The pattern was disrupted after the assemblies in some states got prematurely dissolved in 1968-69.
The Lok Sabha or the elected lower house of the parliament was also dissolved ahead of schedule in 1971 and mid-term polls were held.
Indira Gandhi was the prime minister at the time.
The 2014 election manifesto of the BJP said on this matter,
“The BJP is committed to initiate electoral reforms to eliminate criminals. The BJP will seek, through consultation with other parties, to evolve a method of holding Assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously. Apart from reducing election expenses for both political parties and Government, this will ensure certain stability for State Governments. We will also look at revising expenditure limits realistically,” the manifesto read.