Why One Nation One Election?
Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef 11 Jul 2018
India is no stranger to the concept of one nation, one election. The first simultaneous election was conducted in 1952 after Independence and enforcement of the Constitution. And yet again, this has been proposed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi couple of years ago. Having said that, ‘One nation; one election’ is intended to save valued resources and bring the country out of a continuous election mode, we’ll have a look into it.
In the history of Indian politics, the simultaneous election was in practice from 1952 to 1970 i.e. 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967. This concept was ended when fourth Lok Sabha was liquidated early. Here are four reasons why Modi is endorsing the concept of one nation one election.
- Massive expenditure
- Diversion of security and civil staff from primary duties
- Impact on governance due to the model code of conduct
- Disruption to normal public life.
Having simultaneous elections to State Assemblies and local bodies offer far more realistic benefits.
- Better commitment from State governments to allow local bodies to perform
- Better voter awareness of local body functioning and the role of the State government
- Improved chances for the citizen-voter to hold both accountable
- More visible improvement in local governance.
- Ample time to discuss various policies and implement
As a matter of fact, one nation one election will definitely decrease the cost of elections and on a broader sense, it will be beneficial for those who reside outside India as they can come to vote on election then there will be an opportunity for them to vote for all elections at one time. Recurrent elections lead to senior leaders at the Centre getting involved with campaigning often at the cost of their ministerial work suffering.
As far as the voter behavior is concerned, it is said that in 77% of these constituencies, voters chose the same political party for both state and Centre but when it is being held even six months apart, only 61% chose the same political party. This could make a huge difference in the political fabric of a particular area as well for the political parties.
If the instantaneous election happens, it will take five more years to revamp the system and to change the mandate if necessary. But there comes a question on the uncertainty of our political scenario as it can take a flip in these 5 years. As a result, political parties may try to gain votes in the last year of their tenure through some populist measure and woo the voters to be back in power.
If the elections are to be held simultaneously, states will have to give up this power and wait for a national election schedule. The state will be beholden to the Union government for elections to its state and this goes against the very grain of political autonomy under our federal structure.
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