How realistic is “One Nation, One Election” and what would its effects be?
Among the most important reforms on the agenda of the present central government is “One Nation, One Election.” In reality, this was one of the measures the administration had advocated when Ram Nath Kovind, the previous president of India, spoke to the Parliament in January 2018. According to him, regular elections in various regions of the nation raise concerns among the populace since they hurt growth and the economy. The need for a single election to be held throughout the nation has been emphasized by the prime minister. The concept is therefore not completely original.
A committee led by President Ramnath Kovind has been established by the Union government to examine several facets of carrying out the “one nation, one election” idea. The overarching goal is to coordinate the dates of the Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections in every State.
Numerous issues have been brought up by the suggestion of simultaneous elections. The effect it will have on federalism will be the most important of them. Then there is the issue of viability; for instance, what would happen if a state government were to fall? Next, there are the legal considerations. Which constitutional modifications would be required, and would the states also need to approve them?
Let’s discuss this in more detail…
What is "One Nation, One Election"?
“One Nation, One Election” aims to hold Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections simultaneously throughout the whole country. This entails having the Lok Sabha and all state assembly elections at the same time, with voting probably occurring simultaneously.
One Nation, One Election (ONOE) refers to the practice of holding the Vidhan Sabha & Lok Sabha (state parliament) elections simultaneously once every five years. Panchayat elections, state municipal elections, and by-elections are not included in this. The plan would call for a constitutional amendment, and 50% of the states must consent to it.
Challenges Faced while implementing ONOE
But it’s not simple to put such a reform into action. In addition to practical challenges, it involves intricate legal and constitutional considerations. Aligning their election schedules is a constitutional concern since different legislative bodies in India have fixed periods. The challenges of federalism must also be handled by One Nation One Election Meaning since it calls for cooperation and agreement among states, each of which has its unique political dynamics and issues.
The most difficult challenge for the “One Nation One election” is aligning the periods of the different state legislative legislatures with those of the Lok Sabha. It’s also not apparent how to deal with situations like midterm elections or the president’s rule if no party obtains a majority.
The two elections being held simultaneously, according to regional political groups, would harm their chances since they wouldn’t be able to prominently underline local issues. They worry they won’t be able to electorally or financially compete with major parties.
Survey of One Nation One Election
In Indian politics, “One Nation One Election” is a key initiative that seeks to coordinate the dates of all elections throughout the nation. Public opinion and the results of the One Nation One Election polls are crucial to determining the viability and acceptability of such a complex reform.
One Nation One Election Surveys measure how the electorate and policymakers in India feel about this idea. They want to know if people support coordinating elections at the state, federal, and local levels as well as what they think about the possible disadvantages & advantages.
Furthermore, elections can assist policymakers in determining if the electoral infrastructure and administrative framework are prepared to handle concurrent elections. These polls are crucial tools for making well-informed decisions since they offer insightful information about the public’s willingness for such a radical shift and serve to frame the conversation around electoral changes in India.
Advantages of "One Nation, One Election"
- One of “One Nation, One Election’s” key benefits is that it will reduce election costs, as having separate elections necessitates substantial financial resources.
- Simultaneous elections would reduce the workload for administrative and security personnel, who would otherwise be required to perform election-related tasks again.
- According to reports, “One Nation, One Election” will free up the government to focus more on governance rather than elections, which usually hinder the implementation of plans.
- The Law Commission asserts that simultaneous elections would increase voter turnout because they make it easier for voters to cast numerous ballots at once.
Disadvantages of the ONOE
- The Constitution and other legal systems would need to be amended to put “ONOE” into effect. For ONOE to work, a constitutional amendment would have to be made and then submitted to state legislatures. It’s not a new concept; it occurred four times in the 1950s and 1960s, but India has fewer states and people who are qualified to vote, according to sources cited by ANI.
- There is also concern that regional concerns may be eclipsed by national issues, which would have an impact on the results of the state elections.
- The opposition parties’ resistance to “One Nation One Election” agrees with all political parties a serious barrier.
There must be agreement on whether or not the nation requires one nation, one election. To allow for consideration of public opinion throughout the discussion, all political parties should at the very least collaborate. India, a developed democracy, may then monitor the debate’s conclusion.