Ex-President to lead panel on ‘One Nation, One Election’ for the Center.

A new committee, led by former President Ram Nath Kovind, has been tasked with examining the feasibility of implementing a “one nation, one election” system in India, which would involve simultaneous national and state elections across the country. This development follows the recent announcement of a special parliamentary session from September 18 to 22, sparking speculation that a bill on this topic might be introduced, although the government has not confirmed this.

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The concept of “one nation, one election” aims to hold Lok Sabha and state assembly elections simultaneously, as was practiced in India until 1967. However, this practice ceased after certain state assemblies were dissolved prematurely in 1968-69, and the Lok Sabha was dissolved ahead of schedule in 1970, leading to mid-term elections in 1971.

The BJP had included this proposal in its 2014 Lok Sabha Election Manifesto, pledging to explore a method for synchronizing Assembly and Lok Sabha elections to reduce costs and provide stability for State Governments. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been an advocate for this idea, citing its potential to relieve the burden on national resources and maintain governance continuity.

The formation of the committee prompted criticism from some opposition parties, with the Communist Party of India’s D Raja suggesting that the BJP’s focus on “one nation, one” concepts reflects its obsession with consolidating power. He also expressed concerns about the BJP’s approach to parliamentary democracy.

Notably, implementing “one nation, one election” would require a constitutional amendment and the support of two-thirds of the members in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile, upcoming assembly elections are scheduled in five states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram, with Lok Sabha elections anticipated around May next year.

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