January 30, 2018
Buzz is growing louder that the Centre might advance the Lok Sabha elections to December 2018 simultaneously with assembly polls in three big states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. What added strength to the speculation was President Ram Nath Kovind also making pitch for one election in the country, saying frequent polls posed a huge burden on resources and impeded the development process.
Addressing the joint session of the Parliament on Monday, his maiden since assuming the office, Kovind said that frequent elections in one part of the country or the other adversely affected country’s economy and development.
“Frequent elections not only impose a huge burden on human resources, but also impede the development process due to the promulgation of the model code of conduct,” Kovind said.
“Dream of a New India does not belong to one political party or organisation…. To fulfil this dream, we all have to work together with complete dedication,” he added.
This comes at a time when the BJP-led central government has already begun preparing the roadmap for implementing “One Nation, One Election”. Mail Today had reported on January 12 that the BJP has mobilised its cadre to begin deliberations so as to reach a consensus on holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies.
The BJP is of the view that the matter (simultaneous elections) needs to be discussed in public so as to create awareness and address practical difficulties in its implementation.
Last week RSS-affiliated Rambhau Mhalgi Probodhini also held a two-day seminar on simultaneous elections wherein leaders from all political parties agreed to the concept of one election in the country.
The two-day seminar saw participation from various political parties as well as the NITI Ayog.
Five major issues were discussed – hazards of multiplicity of elections, concept and implementation related issues in simultaneous elections, no-confidence and dissolution of house related issues, idea of aligning local body elections with general elections and experiences of simultaneous polls abroad.
Sources in BJP said the top leadership was considering holding simultaneous elections in December 2018 that will also assess the preparations and viability of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together.
Almost all political parties, during initial discussions, have supported the idea, though they have pointed out the practical difficulties in implementing the plan. However, the Congress has termed the move “unworkable and impractical”.
The Election Commission of India has also expressed similar views on holding simultaneous elections.