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Business News/ Politics / 'One Nation, One Election': What does it mean? See benefits, disadvantages and other details here
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'One Nation, One Election': What does it mean? See benefits, disadvantages and other details here

One Nation, One Election: Government forms committee headed by Ram Nath Kovind to explore 'One Nation, One Election'; agenda of special parliamentary session speculated.

Women cast their votes for Panchayat elections at a polling station, in Nadia district of West Bengal, Saturday, July 8, 2023 (PTI)Premium
Women cast their votes for Panchayat elections at a polling station, in Nadia district of West Bengal, Saturday, July 8, 2023 (PTI)

The government has constituted a committee headed by former President of India Ram Nath Kovind in order to explore the possibility of ‘One Nation, One Election’, sources said on 1 September as reported by PTI. The report of the committee has come a day Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the government has convened a special session of Parliament for five days between 18-22 September 2023.

In the announcement, there was no official word on the agenda behind the special session which will be held days after the G20 Summit. "Amid Amrit Kaal looking forward to having fruitful discussions and debate in Parliament," Pralhad Joshi said on X (formerly Twitter).

Since the announcement, speculation on the possible agenda for the five day special session have arise. One of the agenda items speculated upon was dissolving the current Parliament and announcement of early Lok Sabha elections, as reported by news agency ANI while some political circles are also pondering whether it will revolve around On Nation, One Election.

So, What is ‘One Nation One Election’?

The concept of "One Nation, One Election" in India aims to synchronise elections for the Lok Sabha (the lower house of India's Parliament) and all state assemblies. The idea is to hold these elections simultaneously, either on a single day or within a specific time frame. Over the years, PM Modi has pushed strongly for the idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly polls, and the decision to task Kovind to look into it underscores the government's seriousness as a host of elections approach. The assembly polls in five states are due this year in November or December which will be be followed by the Lok Sabha elections which is likely to be held in May-June 2024. However, the recent moves by the government have thrown open the possibility of advancing the general elections and some state polls, which are scheduled after and with the Lok Sabha contest, as reported by PTI.

Pros of ‘One Nation One Election’ 

-The primary benefits of ‘One Nation, One election’ is the reduction in the cost of conducting elections as each separate elections require huge amount of financial resources.

-With having simultaneous elections would ease the burden on administrative and security forces, who otherwise are engaged multiple times in election duties.

-As per reports, With implementation of 'One Nation, One Election', the government can focus more on governance rather than being in a election mode, which often hampers policy implementation.

-Simultaneous elections, according to the Law Commission, will increase voter turnout because it will be more easy for people to cast many ballots at once, as reported by India Today report.

Cons of ‘One Nation One Election’

-To implement One Nation, One Election', changes would also be required in the Constitution and other legal frameworks. One Nation – One Election would need a constitutional amendment and then it would need to be taken to state assemblies. It is not a new concept having taken place four times in the 1950’s and 60's but India has fewer states and a smaller population that could vote, sources sadi as reported by ANI.

-Additionally, there is worry that regional issues might get overshadowed by the national issues, affecting the electoral outcome at the state level. 

-The agreement among all political parties is a significant hurdle as well as opposition parties have opposed to ‘One Nation One Election.’

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Published: 01 Sep 2023, 11:32 AM IST
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