- Prime Minister has said that a panel will be formed to examine the issue of ‘One Country,One Election’.The panel will come up with the suggestions in a time-bound manner.
- One Country,One Election is the method of holding single elections for both Lok Sabha and States instead of separate and continuous elections.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (b)Since elections will be held once in five years, it will reduce the government’s accountability to the people.
- Further,when an election in a State is postponed until the synchronised phase,President’s rule will have to be imposed in the interim period in that state.This will be a blow to democracy and federalism.
- One Nation One Poll’ is a good idea for Indian polity but its feasibility needs to be thoroughly examined by involving all the stakeholders in debate and discussion.
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