As we know that our current government is pushing to reform our election system and they are trying to apply the concept of simultaneous election in the country .It is a theory that provides for a single election of Loksabha and state legislative assemblies. This concept of One Nation One Election is not new in India, after independence the first election was conducted in the year 1952, and that election was conducted simultaneously. It was continuous from 1952 to 1970. It comes to an end when Fourteenth Loksabha was dissolved early.
Now our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi again raised this issue and former president Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and current president Mr. Ram Nath Kovind had also supported this idea of simultaneous election.
However it is not first time when governments are demanding for the implementation of One Nation-One Election policy, even before this many time such demand was raised by many people.
In 1999, the Law Commission headed by Justice B.P. Jeevan in its report, said that “We must go back to the situation where the elections to Loksabha and all the Legislative Assemblies were held at once.”
So it clearly shows the importance of this issue in our democratic nation and there is a long debate on concept. Some people supports it and says that this is the need of time but some oppose it by considering it the danger for the democracy.
According to me there are mainly two sides of this debate:
- Constitutional side
- Political side
Now, I am going to discuss both above sides one by one-
As we know the India is a democratic country and it has its own codified constitution. This constitution is supreme and it says that “every law should be in conformity with constitution and all law get power from it”. So no one can overtake it neither any law nor any man.
Article 83(2) of the constitution deals with tenure of Loksabha and according to it tenure is 5 years, unless dissolved earlier and Article 172 makes the same provision for the state assembly. So to conduct these elections at same time government has to dissolve all assemblies before the tenure ends but for such dissolution of assemblies some grounds has been specified and other than those grounds assemblies or Loksabha cannot be dissolved. So, if the government dissolves the assembly for the simultaneous elections then it will be the violation of constitution and also it will raise a political conflict in the country.
Political side- As far as political side is concerned there are different opinion and views of the people. As we know that in 2014 general election there was a storm of Modi, so they secured the huge majority in that election after that they also formed the government in many states like Uttar Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Goa, Assam and many other. It would not be wrong to say that in the victory of state polls there was also some effect of 2014 storm and it attracted the people again towards the Bhartiya Janta Party.
So in this view we can say that after the implementation of this concept of One Nation- One Election there may be the possibility of similar government at central and state level.
It was happened in the year 1952, 1957, and 1962, when Indian National Congress got the majority and formed the government in centre as well as in almost every states, this one party rule is not good for the democracy.
So, It creates problem when in election voter will prefer a party over the candidate just because it has the possibility to come in union because state and centre has its own priorities and governments should elected in accordance with those priorities.
Moreover some small and regional parties are opposing this concept with same arguments as discussed because with this concept of simultaneous election it would be hard for them to survive.
So these are some problems that may become a barrier in the implementation of this “One Nation One Election Concept”.
But apart from the problems it also has some advantages, and here it become
necessary to discuss these advantages and benefits of simultaneous elections.
Present government always argue that this one nation-one election is become a need today to save a big amount of time and valued resources of the country which is involved in continuous election mode.
As we know that India is a big country having 29 states and 7 Union territories, and we spend aproximately 5,000 carore rupees in election of a state like Uttar Pradesh (2017elections) and aproxmately 42,000 carore in Loksabha election (2014 elections). According to a survey in India 63 lakh children aged between six to seventeen years physically work hard for over 180 days in a year to earn food for their family
Now we can think that in such kind of pathetic situation how much big amount of money we spend on every elections, which is not a good deal.
Other than the expenditure there is one more advantage that after the implementation of this one nation one election policy there will be good time for the state legislature to discuss and implement the policies.
It will also save the time of current ministers and leaders who are getting involved with compaigning during elections.
This policy will be beneficial for those people who reside outside of state or country because if they come to vote in one election then they would be able to vote in all the elctions. In this way it will raise the participation of the citizens in the elections.
Thus after the study of above facts and arguments we can clearly find out that there is strong arguments on both sides and this concept of simultaneous election in the country has advantages and disadvantages both.
But we cannot deny and neglect the need of time. It is a time to think beyond the boundaries and traditional limit, we must update ourselves and our system according to the time.
We must look any middle way to implement this “One Nation One Election Policy” in its positive form by removing all its disadvantages because this continuous election mode is a barrier in speed of development of the nation.