One country, one election recommendation

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The high level committee headed by former President Ramnath Kovind has submitted its report to President Draupadi Murmu regarding holding simultaneous elections in the country. In the 18,626-page report, the Kovind-led committee said simultaneous elections would boost the development process and social cohesion, deepen the foundation of democratic traditions and help realize the aspirations of ‘India that is Bharat’. . This committee said in its recommendations that in case of a hung situation or a no-confidence motion or any such situation, fresh elections can be held for the formation of a new Lok Sabha. The Committee said that when new elections are held for the Lok Sabha, the tenure of that House should be only for the remaining period of the tenure of the immediately preceding Lok Sabha. The Committee also said that when new elections are held for State Legislative Assemblies, the tenure of such new Legislative Assemblies (unless sooner dissolved) will be for the full term of the Lok Sabha. The committee said that to implement such a system, there would be a need to amend Article 83 (duration of the Houses of Parliament) and Article 172 (duration of State Legislatures) of the Constitution. This constitutional amendment would not need to be ratified by the states, the committee said. The committee has also recommended that the Election Commission of India prepare a single voter list and voter identity card in consultation with state election authorities.

The committee said that Article 325 related to voter list can be amended for this purpose. At present, the Election Commission of India is responsible for the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly elections, while the responsibility for municipal and panchayat elections rests with the State Election Commission. The committee said in its report that now many elections are being held every year. This imposes a huge burden on the government, businesses, workers, courts, political parties, election candidates and civil organizations at large. It states that the government should develop a legally viable mechanism to implement a simultaneous election system. An official statement said that keeping in mind the existing draft of the Constitution, the committee has prepared its recommendations in such a way that they are in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution and there is minimal need to amend the Constitution.

While 32 regional parties have supported the Kovind Committee’s recommendation of ‘one country, one election’, 15 political parties have opposed it. National level parties opposing it include Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Left parties, while BJP has supported it.

The idea of ​​holding simultaneous elections in the country is theoretically correct, if we go back to the past, till 1967, Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were held simultaneously in the country, but as a result of the political upheaval in the Congress during the time of Indira Gandhi, this process stopped. , because the assemblies of many states were dissolved prematurely. The committee recommends that simultaneous elections become a part of the Constitution. This will strengthen the democratic system and also reduce expenses. The election atmosphere which prevails all the time in the country will also not be there. This is right in principle and in the national interest. But it will be difficult to implement this. Because not just one but many changes will have to be made in the Constitution and many of these changes require the support of the states. It is difficult to say when such a situation arises. But as an idea the committee’s recommendation is welcome. Work should proceed in this direction.

-Irwin Khanna, Editor-in-Chief, Dainik Uttam Hindu.

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