Committee Led by Ex-President Ram Nath Kovind to Study 'One Nation, One Election'
Committee Led by Ex-President Ram Nath Kovind to Study 'One Nation, One Election'

New Delhi: The Union government has taken a significant step towards the potential implementation of 'One Nation, One Election' by forming a committee led by former President Ram Nath Kovind. This initiative aims to synchronize general elections with state Assembly elections.

Sources within the government have disclosed that the committee's primary objective is to examine the feasibility of enacting legislation to bring 'One Nation, One Election' into reality. Previous reports on the proposal from a parliamentary standing committee, the Law Commission, and Niti Ayog have laid the groundwork for this move.

In an announcement, the government has scheduled a Special Session of Parliament from September 18-22, raising speculation that a bill related to this proposal could be introduced during this period. With elections impending in five states later this year and the General Elections scheduled for 2024, 'One Nation, One Election' could soon transition from a concept to a reality.

The potential impact of 'One Nation, One Election' would mean that elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies across India would take place simultaneously, streamlining the voting process.

Historically, simultaneous elections for state assemblies and the Lok Sabha were held until 1967. However, in 1968 and 1969, some legislative assemblies were dissolved prematurely, followed by the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1970, leading to disruptions in electoral schedules.

Notably, the Bharatiya Janata Party included the idea of simultaneous elections in its 2014 election manifesto, emphasizing the need for this electoral reform.

In December 2022, the Law Commission sought the opinions of various stakeholders, including political parties, the Election Commission of India, bureaucrats, and other experts on the proposal for simultaneous elections in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a vocal advocate for 'One Nation, One Election.' In November 2020, while addressing a conference of presiding officers, he asserted, “One nation, one election is not only a subject of debate but a necessity for India. There is an election in India every month, which hampers development. Why should the country waste so much money?”

However, the opposition INDIA alliance, which is working on a joint strategy to challenge the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, has raised objections to the proposal. Shiv Sena UBT faction leader Sanjay Raut stated, "The country is already united; is anyone questioning that? We demand fair elections, not 'one nation, one election.' This concept of 'one nation, one election' is being introduced to divert attention from our demand for fair elections." Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ramgopal Yadav added, "This discussion of 'One Nation, One Election' has taken place before...there should be a thorough discussion on the subject. If the government intends to rush through the decision during a special session, that would be incorrect."

With the newly established committee under President Kovind, it is anticipated that the government will expedite its efforts to make 'One Nation, One Election' a reality.

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