The Concept of ‘One Nation, One Election’
In 2018, India began a debate over the concept of ‘One Nation, One Election.’ This proposal suggests holding simultaneous elections for both the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. It aims to address various issues and challenges associated with the frequent election cycle in the country.
The Rationale Behind Simultaneous Elections
The primary reasons cited in favour of ‘One Nation, One Election’ include significant cost savings, reduced strain on administrative resources and security forces, and enhanced policy implementation. By synchronising elections, India could optimise its governance and reduce the financial burden of frequent polls.
However, implementing simultaneous elections necessitates constitutional amendments. The existing framework does not allow for the simultaneous scheduling of Lok Sabha and state assembly elections. Overcoming these constitutional barriers is a complex task.
The Need for Political Consensus
To realise ‘One Nation, One Election,’ political consensus is crucial. Amending multiple constitutional articles requires unity among diverse political parties, which is a formidable challenge. Achieving this consensus is essential for the proposal’s success.
The Law Commission’s Questionnaire
In December 2022, the 22nd Law Commission of India took a step towards consensus by seeking input from various stakeholders. The responses will contribute to the final report on the feasibility of ‘One Nation, One Election.’
The Ongoing Debate
While India has conducted simultaneous elections in the past, reinstating this practice in the contemporary political landscape presents unique challenges. The proposal holds the potential for a more efficient electoral system and better governance. However, its realisation remains uncertain, dependent on political stakeholders finding common ground for the nation’s benefit.
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