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One Nation One Election

July 11, 2018
10 days

Why in news?

Political parties are divided on the issue of holding simultaneous elections during consultations with the Law Commission.

What are the advantages?

  • Frequent elections impose a burden on human resources.
  • They also impede the development process due to the promulgation of Model Code of Conduct.
  • The idea of ‘one nation, one election’ will drastically cut the election expenditure.
  • The government will be able to focus on legislation and governance.
  • Now, they are deviated in the campaign mode periodically.

What are the concerns and challenges?

  • Tenure - Synchronisation would involve curtailment or extension of the tenure of a House.
  • It is proposed that the Assemblies would be bunched into two categories.
  • This will be based on whether their terms end close to the 2019 or the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
  • Elections could be held for one group in 2019 and another in 2024, helping subsequent synchronisations.
  • The legal validity of this process is however questionable.
  • Constitutional - The move requires amendment to the Representation of Peoples’s Act 1951.
  • But attempting to draft a constitutional amendment would highlight the hollowness of the whole idea.
  • Discussions with the public, political parties and all other stakeholders would have to be reflected in the bill.
  • Significantly, it requires changes to the Constitution’s basic structure, posing a challenge.
  • Difficulties - The Election Commission sometimes holds elections to even one state in many phases.
  • Given this, holding simultaneous elections for the whole country has many practical difficulties.
  • Dissolution - It is possible for Lok Sabha to be prematurely dissolved on account of a vote of no-confidence.
  • It is still uncertain if all Assemblies would also be dissolved in that case.
  • And in case of a mid-term election, the term of such a House would only be for the remainder of its tenure.
  • Defection - Allowing a one-time waiver of the anti-defection law in the event of a hung House is another proposal.
  • This is to enable the House to elect a leader.
  • However, these reforms can be adopted even without simultaneous elections.


Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

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