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One Nation, One Election- 13angle.com

One Nation, One Election

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Introduction of One Nation, One Election- 13angle.com

Introduction

  • One Nation, One Election is a popular movement in India that calls for a complete revamp of the country’s electoral system. The main concept is to hold a single election for the Lok Sabha, State Legislatures, and Panchayats, rather than a series of elections on a regular basis. Many current government members have recently been criticized for holding the Lok Sabha and assembly elections at the same time. PM Modi made a new pitch for his pet idea while speaking to the public on the 73rd anniversary of India’s independence, saying that while India is talking about simultaneous polls, which is a good thing, the discussion should now focus on “One Nation, One Election,” as it is critical to making the country great. Furthermore, the Election Commission recently claimed that, as a result of many constitutional revisions, it is fully capable of conducting simultaneous elections.

  • When the present government’s maximum term expires or the government dissolves for various reasons, India holds general elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies every five years. Separate elections for State Assemblies are held in several states, putting the government under a great deal of financial hardship. It’s vital to keep in mind that the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha may not have the same terms. Rajasthan held elections in late 2018, whilst Tamil Nadu will not host elections until 2021, as evidenced by the fact that Rajasthan held elections in late 2018.

  • “One Nation, One Election” is now only a concept rather than a reality, despite a few previous attempts. This idea entails holding elections for all state legislatures as well as the Lok Sabha (House of People) at the same time. The legislature will have to modify election rules, and the government will have to restructure the Indian election cycle to make this idea and prior attempts a standard.

  • Simultaneous elections aren’t a novel concept in Indian politics; they’ve been done before. We need to take a quick look at its history to understand its merits and success in the current political situation. In 1951-52, India’s first election cycle following independence was for both the House of People and the State Assemblies. Until 1967, it was the industry standard. In 1968 and 1969, the cycle was disrupted for the first time when some Legislative Assemblies were prematurely dissolved. In 1970, the Fourth Lok Sabha was prematurely dissolved, and new elections were held in 1971. The Fifth Lok Sabha’s term was prolonged till 1977 under Article 352 of the Constitution (Emergency). Since then, elections for State Assemblies and Parliament have been held separately.

  • The Election Commission’s annual report in 1983 endorsed the idea of resuming simultaneous polling. In a 1999 report, the Law Commission mentioned the same thing. There have been several debates and discussions on this topic during the previous decade. In reality, in its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Bhartiya Janata Party suggested simultaneous elections as a system. Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed in 2016 that this concept be revived and reintroduced into Indian politics. In its place, the Niti Aayog published a working paper on the subject in January 2017. The Law Commission of India indicated in a working paper issued in April 2018 that restoring this system would necessitate at least “five constitutional recommendations.” However, there is yet to be a final decision on holding simultaneous elections.

Advantages Of Simultaneous Election

  • Simultaneous elections benefit the government’s finances: One of the most compelling arguments in favor of them is that they would reduce the load on the government’s budgets. If India takes this route, it will save a significant amount of money. A total of 28 lacs is available for greater assembly. This indicates that running a single election in both states and UTs would cost around 11 billion dollars. Every year, about five states hold elections. The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are expected to cost more than 50000 crores, according to a report, while the Karnataka state assembly election is expected to cost between 10,000 and 15,000 crores. This method is used to elect 4-5 assemblies each year. Thousands of rupees have been spent exclusively on elections in our country, which might have been avoided if polls were held simultaneously.

1. Rapid Development: – As a result of the Model Code of Conduct, no new initiatives are launched while an election is in place. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is a set of standards that establishes a number of dos and don’ts that political parties, candidates, and ruling parties must follow throughout the election process. The suspension of a number of social services has had a substantial impact on regular government operations. As a result, at least one election would assure that the federal and state government’s policies and social services are consistent.

Elections are a massive, complicated, and time-consuming operation that must occur throughout the year. To ensure orderly, stable, and unbiased elections, India’s Election Commission will need the assistance of a large number of polling officials as well as military forces. A one-time election would also save considerable time and money.

2. Efficiency in Government: – The government will not have to lure the public with lucrative schemes or build caste and religion-based initiatives if elections are not conducted every year. State and federal governments are not required to establish profitable budgets every year, and they can make difficult decisions that benefit the economy.

3. Corruption:- Any political party that wants to win an election needs a lot of money. There are various legal options, such as party membership fees and fundraising, but these approaches are ineffective in a country like India, where hunger and poverty are rampant. As a result, crony capitalism was used by the party. When a wealthy firm donates a significant sum of money to a political party, the party responds by implementing legislation that favours the wealthy. As you can see, there is a widespread notion that Adani and Ambani, India’s two richest people, control the present administration.

4. Voters will be more aware of the election:- In India, it is prevalent human psychology that when we have more opportunities, we waste them. The same thing happens in elections; the public has multiple opportunities to vote, so instead of using their right to vote intentionally, they take it “for granted,” or a variation of the same. For the lower sectors of society, elections are like festivals; as a result, they vote with “their power of vote” and “their days” in mind, and as a result, they occasionally elect the wrong candidate.

5. Public Participation Has Increased:- Mr. CsabaNikolenyi, a Concordia University professor in Montreal, used basic formulae to calculate voter motivation, among other things while researching Indian elections and came to the conclusion that separate elections in India were preventing more people from participating in the democratic process.

Consider the following illustration:

  • When we look back at earlier elections in India, we can see that simultaneous elections in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh increased voter turnout by about 11.5 percent in 1999. In 1977, simultaneous elections in Kerala and national elections increased voter turnout by almost 20%. Simultaneous elections in north-eastern states with national elections have been shown to boost voter turnout by 21% in Arunachal Pradesh and 17% in Assam. As a result, it is possible to claim that holding simultaneous elections will increase voter turnout, particularly in geographically distant locations, which is still another convincing argument for holding simultaneous elections.

Disadvantages Of Simultaneous Election

1. Local issues may remain ignored:-

  • It’s been noted that state assembly and Lok Sabha elections are fought over different issues. Regional parties are concerned with local/regional issues, whilst national parties are concerned with national issues. As a result, there’s a significant probability that regional parties will be overshadowed by national parties and won’t be able to create as much awareness about local issues. The big picture is vital in India because it is a secular and democratic country, but the small details should not be disregarded. Local issues must not be overlooked.

  • As previously said, regional parties will have a difficult time competing with national parties in terms of electoral funding and strategy. Local interests and voters are directly tied to State Assembly elections in particular. As a result, regional parties will refuse to accept a single-election system. This brings up the issue of political accord all over again.

2. Delay in Election Results:-

  • Currently, almost all regional parties are advocating for the use of ballet papers in elections. Because everything happens at the same time, if elections are performed in a one-time manner, the results will be delayed for a long time. Numerous polls have been conducted across the country. To reach a consolidated result, a large amount of time will be required.

  • The following machinery and resources are required on a large scale: Given India’s status as the world’s largest democracy, holding simultaneous elections in all states, UTs, and the Lok Sabha will be challenging.

3. Constitutional flaws include:-

  • A one-time election appears to be nearly difficult due to the country’s political framework. Assume that elections are held simultaneously, but that a majority vote will not be required to form all states and the federal government. It’s also possible that some parties create an alliance government that disintegrates before the five-year tenure is through. As a result, re-election is a possibility across the country.

  • Constitutional modifications are required for simultaneous elections.

  • The term of the Parliament Houses was addressed in Article 83. The first problem with holding simultaneous elections is defining how long or short the parties in the Assembly will be in power. Articles 83(2) and 172(1) of the Indian Constitution specify how long each State Assembly and House of People can serve.

  • The President’s dissolution of the Lok Sabha is addressed under Article 85. The phrase “unless sooner dissolved” in the Constitution allows people to shorten their periods of service. However, only a constitutional amendment can change the duration of the term. Furthermore, the Constitution lacks a mechanism for extending the terms of the State Assemblies beyond what is required.

  • The dates of State Legislatures and State Assemblies have been updated in Articles 172 and 174. The improvements will be crucial in synchronizing elections across the House of People or State Legislative Assemblies, as previously mentioned.

  • Amendment to Article 356: It is activated if the state’s constitutional system fails and deals with the president’s control in the state. Unfortunately, this framework cannot be utilized to achieve election synchronization and would need to be modified in order to do so.

  • The Representation of the People Act was amended in 1951. It also involves election notice to the State Legislative Assemblies and the House of People, which is a one-time, if not permanent, requirement.

4. Views of Reports in favor of Simultaneous Elections:-

  • In its 79th Report in 2015, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice recommended that simultaneous elections be held for long-term effective governance.

5. The Election Commission of India published its first annual report in 1983:-

  • The Election Commission of India advocated conducting simultaneous elections for the House of People and the Legislative Assemblies of States in its First Annual Report in 1983 for the following important reasons:
  1. Significant savings on the massive needless administrative and other costs associated with staging separate General Elections (Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly).

  2. Significant cost savings by revising electoral rolls for both the House of People and the State Legislative Assemblies at the same time, rather than doing it twice in two different procedures.

  3. For the conduct of elections, around twenty-five lakhs of civilian officers and staff, as well as a few lakhs of police troops, are deployed every two to three months, disrupting their routine tasks.

  4. During elections, whether for the Lok Sabha or the Assemblies, the entire administrative system in the country slows down significantly, and all other government responsibilities and operations, including development activity, are relegated to the background. The common man is subjected to a great deal of hardship and suffering as a result of these factors. During the course of every general election, the situation lasts around two months (Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies).

  • Given the foregoing factors, the Elections Commission believes that the time has come to develop a system by convention if legislation to hold simultaneous general elections to the House of People and Legislative Assemblies of the States is not conceivable or practical (emphasis added).

6. “Reform of Electoral Laws,” the 170th Report of India’s Law Commission (1999):-

  • The Commission noted in its 170th Report (1999) that after 1967, simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies were disrupted for a variety of reasons, including frequent use of Article 356 of the Constitution. The Commission stated that while it is true that all situations and eventualities in which Article 356 may be invoked (the scope of which has been significantly reduced since the Supreme Court’s decision in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India), it cannot be applied to all situations and Separate elections for State Legislative Assemblies should thus be the exception rather than the rule. For the Lok Sabha and all Legislative Assemblies, one election every five years must be the rule.

7. Parliamentary Standing Committee’s 79th Report, 2015:-

  • The Committee noted several justifications for holding simultaneous elections to the House of People (Lok Sabha) and State Legislative Assemblies in its Report on “Feasibility of Holding Simultaneous Elections to the House of People (Lok Sabha) and State Legislative Assemblies,” including the following:

  • Huge sums of money are currently being spent on separate elections. The policy paralysis was caused by the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) being imposed during election season. Impact on critical service delivery. Putting a strain on vital labor employed during election season.

8. NITI Aayog’s working paper:-

  • In January 2017, the National Institute of Transforming India (NITI Aayog) released a working paper titled “Analysis of Simultaneous Elections: The What, Why, and How,” in which the proposal to have simultaneous elections for the House of People and the State Legislative Assembly was discussed. The paper looked at the existing constitutional provisions, as well as the financial and logistical ramifications of simultaneous elections, and devised a framework for holding them.

  • According to the aforementioned research, holding simultaneous elections on multiple counts is desirable. According to these reports, the nation’s diverse demands will be reflected as national parties contest elections concentrating on regional concerns and regional parties contest elections focusing on national issues, bringing regional parties into mainstream politics and boosting their growth.

Global Perspective

  • The simultaneous election is not a new notion in the globe that India will introduce; it is an ancient concept that many countries have already used.

1. South Africa:-

  • Elections for the National Assembly, Provincial Legislatures, and Municipal Councils are conducted every five years in South Africa. The electoral system for the National and Provincial Assemblies is based on “party-list proportional representation,” which implies that political parties are represented in proportion to the amount of electoral support they receive. The number of seats a party receives is determined by the total number of votes it receives. When the results are published, parties compile lists of candidates for each of the legislatures they desire to contest. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) determines how many members of each political party should be elected to legislatures.

  • The National Assembly has 400 representatives, whereas each of the nine Provincial Legislatures has thirty to ninety seats, depending on the province’s population. On separate ballot papers, voters cast their votes for the National and Provincial Legislatures.

2. Sweden:-

  • The elections for County Councils and Municipal Councils in Sweden take place at the same time as the general elections (elections to Riksdag every four years). Municipal Assembly elections, on the other hand, are held every five years on the second Sunday of September.

3. Belgium:-

  • In Belgium, there are five main sorts of elections in which one can vote. Federal Parliament elections usually take place every five years, coinciding with European (and, as a result, regional) elections.

4. Germany:-

  • In the German Constitution of 1949, the notion of basic structure is explicitly stated. The Bundestag (i.e., Lower House) in Germany has a system whereby the Chancellor cannot be removed by a vote of no-confidence. The “constructive vote of no confidence” prevents the Chancellor from being removed because opponents must not only disagree with his or her leadership but also agree on a replacement.

5. Britain:-

  • Take the United Kingdom as an example. In 2011, the British Parliament passed the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, which aimed to provide the British Parliament’s tenure more stability and predictability.

  • It stipulated those elections be held every five years on the first Thursday in May, and that Parliament’s session is limited to five years. Early elections were only permitted if two-thirds of the House agreed or if a resolution of no confidence was carried.

  • As a result, we may conclude that simultaneous elections exist in numerous parts of the world in some form or another. Simultaneous elections are used in countries such as the Philippines, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, and others. These countries, on the other hand, have a presidential form of government, and the presidential and legislative elections are held concurrently.

Conclusion

  • I’d want to draw the conclusion from this study report that simultaneous polling is not an impossible notion to implement. After all, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim held state and Lok Sabha elections at the same time this year. As a result, dismissing the idea completely would be naïve. Simultaneous polling is in the best interests of the country. It will save time, money, and human resources that are currently wasted every time we vote. Because we spend all of our time and energy on elections, governance takes a back seat.

  • Those who claim that conducting simultaneous elections will harm the country’s federal system disrespect the intelligence of voters. Do they genuinely assume that people will vote for the same party in both the state and Lok Sabha elections because they are held at the same time? This is a misleading narrative because voters in state and national elections have been discovered to have a wide range of voting preferences.

  • On a regular basis, elections disturb society, politics, and the country’s economic prosperity. Simultaneous polling will also save time and money while increasing government accountability. Election-related politics is largely ineffectual and contributes nothing too good governance. As a result, simultaneous elections would ensure not only a seamless social life but also a better government. After giving a broad and positive projection of simultaneous elections, it is now up to the government and “We the People of India” to decide whether or not it is a viable idea for us, because, in the end, this policy is for us alone and will affect us directly or indirectly. Because the answer to the question “who is the government?” is the government, we should criticize government acts while simultaneously considering and enacting ideas that will benefit us. Is it “We, the Indian people” or “We, the Indian people“? Because we are the king and sovereigns, the decision is completely ours and our agents to make.

Top 13 Interesting Features Of One Nation, One Election

  1. The first election in our country which was conducted in 1952 was held Simultaneously.

  2. The concept of simultaneous election in India was carried on for four Lok Sabha elections.

  3. After the fourth Lok Sabha was liquidated in 1967 the concept of simultaneous election ended.

  4. The Fifth Lok Sabha Election of the country was prolonged till 1977 under Article 352 of the Constitution (Emergency).

  5. To enact simultaneous elections again, Article 83, 85, 172, 174, and 356 of the Indian Constitution needs to be amended, synchronizing the terms of Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies.

  6. The duration of the state legislature is given in Article 172.

  7. If the Representation of People Act, 1951 is amended for conducting Simultaneous Elections then its definition would be coined under Section 2 of the act.

  8. In India, 31 legislatures are up for election in the period of every five years.

  9. Simultaneous Election as the electoral system is followed in the countries like Sweden, Belgium, South Africa, Germany, etc.

  10. Law Commission of India in its 170th report coined the need for Electoral Laws in the year 1999.

  11. Goswami Committee recommended that an election be held by the Election Commission.

  12. Sukumar Sen was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India.

  13. In Germany, a constructive vote of no-confidence stipulates that the Chancellor can only be removed if an alternative plan for a replacement is in place.

Siddhant Kumar- 13angle writer

Siddhant Kumar

 

Writer

13angle

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