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One Nation One Election: Changing Needs Of Indian Election

India is a sovereign, socialist, democratic and republic country. The concept of democracy as visualised by the constitution pre- supposes the representation of the people in parliament and state legislature by the method of election. At present elections to the Lok-sabha and each Vidhan Sabha are carried out using a first-past-the-post electoral system, due to which India witnesses approximately five elections per year.

On the occasion of 71st National constitution day prime minister of India Mr Narendra modi addressed the assembly by stating that one nation one election is not only a issue but has become a need for India”, which advocates conducting single election for both parliament, state assemblies and also the local bodies. Though it is not a new or unfamiliar concept, as India followed the same concept of election in post-independence period from year 1952 to 1967, but as a result of early dissolution of assemblies of some states, imposition of presidential rule, and establishment of new states, the election cycle got desynchronized, resulting in frequent elections throughout the nation.

Idea of reverting to one poll all over the nation was mooted in annual report of Election commission in 1983, law commission also highlighted the need and importance of the given notion in 1990. many suggestions were proposed like to put an end on parliamentary form of government and shifting to presidential from of government as practiced in US, it was also recommended that the leader of the majority party can be elected as the PM or CM by the entire house, which will provide stability in the government and in case any government fall within five years of its tenure then the new government elected would be for the remaining period only. Also, every no-confidence motion against the government must be followed by a confidence motion, to ensure the continuance of its governance irrespective of political ups and downs.

This is not simple as it seems as there are many constitutional impediments which requires the amendment of certain provisions of the constitution, mainly article 83 which deals with the tenure of Lok sabha, article 85 which mentions power of president to dissolve the Lok sabha, article 172 which deals with the tenure of state legislative assemblies, article 174 which deals with the governors power to dissolve state legislative assembly and article 356 which deals with the imposition of presidential rule for the failure of constitutional machinery in a state and alteration to be made in the basic structure of constitution.

A committee was formed under the leadership of former speaker Mr. Sangma, which concluded that the country cannot afford to alter the basic structure and go for a presidential form of government and even if we adopt the presidential form of government then it would directly affect the federal structure of the country. Besides this it would also require an amendment in the representation of people’s act, to build in provisions for stability of tenure for both parliament and assemblies.

It includes crucial elements:
  • Restructuring the powers and functions of the election commission of India to facilitate the procedure required for simultaneous election.
  • Definition of simultaneous election can be added under section 2 of this act.
Still, maintaining synchronization between elections of different assemblies would be the most challenging issue.

New Delhi based centre for media studies in its research indicated that the combined expenditure of all the political parties in 2019 general election was approximately around rupees 50,000 crore whereas the total poll expenses with expenditure of election commission comes up to 60,000 crore which is somehow equal to India’s annual health budget, which was 62,659.12 crore for year 2019-20 , besides this a substantial amount of manpower was also engaged in this elections as in lok sabha elections of 2019 only around 2,60,000 paramilitary forces with 10,00,000 police officials and approximately 85 lakh path timers who organised polling booths in different constituency was employed by government of India.

Former chief election commissioner S.Y. Qureshi quotes that:
Election is the fundamental root of corruption in India.

Glimpses of this has been seen in 2019 election of Karnataka Vidhan Sabha where Election commission seized more than 1.3 billion rupees of unaccounted cash, gold, alcohol and drugs . Many political leaders were arrested, this is not a one- time event for India as regular elections of different assemblies witnesses the same mess and hurdles.

The system of one nation one election has become a necessity in the country like India, which can curb the issue of corruption and black money by keeping a check on it and will definitely reduce the election expenses by a huge margin, organising one election in a gap of five years will reduce the burden of work from the shoulders of election commission, government administration, civil servants, police and army personals which will revamp their efficiency in respective fields and peoples will be able to examine the process and policies of their respective leader and parties in a much finer way.

This system will allow politicians to focus more on governance rather than electioneering, frequent elections throughout the year paralyses the government policies and reduces nations overall development, the given idea of one poll can revive stagnant government schemes, resulting in speedy development of country. Fake political agendas based on caste, religion and other sensitive issues which disturb social harmony among the citizens of society can be reduced or force stop.

It will also lead to an increase in the voter percentage as the migrant workers and other job holders will have to come only once to cast their vote as there will be uniformity in voter list for all three stages whereas at present voter list for election of Lok sabha and rajya sabha are prepared by election commission of India and list for local bodies or panchayat elections are prepared by state election commission. Presence and preparation of two separate list creates a confusion among peoples of rural area and among illiterate voters.

Although For the enforcement of this system, consent of all the political parties would be needed including small and regional parties who believes that local issues would fade out as national parties will mainly focus on national issues and the political existence of this small political parties would be endangered because of the PAN India wave which may arise during the election. Study shows that 77% of voters will vote for the same party in all three stages i.e. for lok sabha, state assemblies, and local bodies.

Frequent elections lead to a public interaction between people and politicians due to which there exists answerability and accountability. But single election may reduce government’s accountability towards citizens. Conducting all level elections at a time would lead to purchase of more EVM machines and VVPAT’S, increasing the government expenses and would also increase the cost of transportation, storage and maintenance of this machines, and for making this successful a well organised infrastructure would be needed for which India is not primed at present.

Hence, now it is necessary to initiate general and political debate on this very needed topic so that problems could be tackled with efficient and agreed solution and new concepts could be embraced by the consent of all major and minor political parties, media and nation which would be in greater national interest in favour of development and would nurture the basic structure of our constitution.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Prasang Sharma
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: MA108905020750-30-0321

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