Explained: PM Modi called for ‘One Nation, One Election’. What does this idea mean?

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  1. Prime Minister has called for ‘one nation,one election’.He said that a committee would be formed to discuss the idea with all political parties.
  2. One nation,One Election is the method of holding single elections for both Lok Sabha and States instead of separate and continuous elections.
  3. Simultaneous elections are not new to India.They were the norm until 1967.But following dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and that of the Lok Sabha in December 1970,elections to State Assemblies and Parliament have been held separately.
  4. The idea of reverting to simultaneous polls was mooted in the annual report of the Election Commission in 1983.The Law Commission’s Report also referred to it in 1999.
  5. Simultaneous polls are needed as it (a)will reduce the enormous costs involved in separate elections (b)It will help ruling parties focus on governance instead of being constantly in election mode (c)boost voter turnout and (d)Frees up security forces for deployment in their core areas.
  6. The arguments against the simultaneous polls are (a)National and state issues are different and holding simultaneous elections is likely to affect the judgment of voters and (b)Since elections will be held once in five years,it will reduce the government’s accountability to the people.
  7. In 2018,the Law Commission had said that simultaneous elections could not be held within the existing framework of the Constitution.This will require appropriate amendments to the Constitution,the  Representation of the People Act 1951 and the Rules of Procedure of Lok Sabha and state Assemblies would be required.
  8. The Commission has also recommended that all elections due in a calendar year should be conducted together.To preempt the disruption a no-confidence motion should be replaced with a constructive vote of no-confidence which means that a government may be replaced only if there is confidence in an alternative government.