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One Nation One Election

iasparliament
July 11, 2018
4 months
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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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