06th Aug 2021
Author(S):PRISHITA SARAIWALA, DHAIRYA AGRAWAL, KIIT SCHOOL OF LAW, BHUBANESWAR
Elections are viewed as the bedrock of a democratic system where citizens determine the destiny of a country. They make a major commitment to the democratic governance of the country. Elections in India have gone through a few phases of impromptu creation because of the techniques embraced and steps taken by Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Government.
Elections are the most significant and fundamental piece of governmental issues in a democratic system of administration. Democratic government can work just upon this confirmation that the election is free and reasonable and not controlled and inflexible. But for specific reasons, Democracy isn’t working as expected and the citizens feel that there is something not right in the Electoral cycle. Throughout the long term, the Indian electoral system experienced genuine disorder. In this way, the political decision in our nation is considered as the premise of political corruption. The best conditions require that a fair, and upstanding individual who is public lively and needs to serve individuals, ought to have the option to challenge and get chosen as individuals’ representatives. In any case, it’s undeniably true that such an individual gets no opportunity of neither challenging nor regardless winning the election.
The Prime minister’s proposition for concurrent elections came in for a ton of attacks. It was viewed as a clandestine endeavor to acquire the presidential type of government. A few speakers said it is against India’s government polity and others trusted it is against the fundamental structure of the constitution. There was a concession to forbidding assessments of public sentiment. Numerous ideological group individuals pursued the destruction of the terms which permits a contender to represent political decisions in more than one supporter. A few applicants referenced democratic by NRIs and migrants, reservations for women and the need to make the model set of principles more moderate. Numerous competitors proposed the constitution of a parliamentary advisory group, with the command of recommending approaches to complete these changes, with specialists from outside parliament. Though, no one was keen on discussing the expanding criminalization of legislative issues, which is the Election Commission’s and the country’s most significant concern.
Keywords: Election, democracy, election commission, constitution.
Elections are the most essential prerequisite to operationalize the democratic system, so the manner in which it ought to be directed holds the most extreme significance. Elections are the way to serve individuals yet they ought not to turn into the main factor in democracy. Consistently either state is prepared for election in India. This process of crusading is frequently tiring and the expense caused is likewise high. Simultaneous election implies a single voter will decide in favor of both Lok Sabha election just as State Assembly election around the same time, and elections can be led in stage shrewd way in every one of the states. State and union elections are to be held following a term of 5 years, however, the constitution is quiet with regards to if this is to be done at the same time.
We are frequently hearing the words ‘simultaneous elections’ nowadays? That is on the grounds that there is a proposition to conduct the elections to the Lok Sabha and State assemblies simultaneously.
An all-party meet will investigate the chance of simultaneous elections, yet the push for “One election, one election” came from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016. From that point onward, there have been far-reaching conversations on holding concurrent polls, with the decision of Bharatiya Janata Party making a solid pitch for it. Making it a stride further, the Law Commission presented a draft report to the public authority on August 30, 2018, supporting the proposition. It even prescribed changes to the Constitution and the discretionary law in order to empower holding simultaneous polls.
What are simultaneous polls?
Presently, elections to the state assemblies and the Lok Sabha are held independently that is at whatever point the occupant government’s five-year term is over or at whatever point it is broken down because of different reasons. This applies to both the state assemblies and the Lok Sabha. The conditions of Legislative Assemblies and the Lok Sabha may not synchronize with each other. For example, In Rajasthan, the elections were held in late 2018, though Tamil Nadu will conduct elections in 2021.
Be that as it may, the possibility of “One Nation, One Election” imagines a framework where elections to all states and the Lok Sabha should be held at the same time. This will include the rebuilding of the Indian political electoral system in a way that elections to the states and the centre synchronize. This would imply that the electors will make their choice for choosing individuals from the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies on the same day, simultaneously or in different phases as the case may be.
Simultaneous elections are not new to India. They were the standard until 1967. Yet, following the disintegration of some Legislative Assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and that of the Lok Sabha in December 1970, decisions to State Assemblies and Parliament have been held independently.
Returning to simultaneous elections was mooted in the yearly report of the Election Commission in 1983. The Law Commission’s Report likewise alluded to it in 1999. The new push came in front of the 2014 Lok Sabha surveys in the BJP pronouncement. After Mr. Modi glided the thought in 2016, the Niti Aayog arranged a functioning paper regarding the matter in January 2017. In the functioning paper that the Law Commission brought out in April 2018, it said that at any rate “five Constitutional suggestions” would be needed to get this going. An official conclusion on holding simultaneous elections is yet to be taken.
Advantages of simultaneous election: –
- Advantageous to the government’s treasury-: One of the biggest argument in the favor of the simultaneous election is the fact that it will reduce the burden on government’s treasury because it an expensive affair to conduct election of a state. There are around 4120 MLA’s in 31 states and Union territories and conducting separately cost around 100 crores each time. A considerable amount of money is spent on the arrangements, salary and securities.
- Speed development work-: Whenever election is in procedure what happen is that Model Code of Conduct come in to be and when it comes then development work and new projects can’t move forward. So this causes lot of problems with respect to policy continuance and continuance of development work. So if only once election happen development work will be speedy.
- Check on black money-: If we go throw reports of Parliament, CBI, Law commission and election commission, they have already stated that a lot of black money turned in to white money during elections. If this continue the parallel economy that s black money economy will stem in India. So, if we have simultaneous election then this problem will address.
- Smooth functioning if government machinery-: In general, when the Government conduct an election they deploy huge amount of man power and engagement of polling staff and security personal for significantly for long periods during election is may more complex and time consuming activity. So, lots of disruption in public life is there. Once we get this simultaneous election in action it will not cause disruptions and also the schools and colleges can work on time, teacher and other officers can go work in their respective departments and it will also ease the general public life.
- Efficiency of Governance-: If election will one time conduct and not conduct annually then the government need not to build the lucrative budgets to the general public and they can take steps which are actually needed for the development of a country as a whole.
Moreover, there would be substantial decree in the hate speech, violence and other law and other problems that occurs.
Disadvantage of simultaneous election:-
- Local issues will fade out-: When we think about a bigger picture it is always looks good but the detail should not be ignored. Regional parties target local issues not national issues. So, if simultaneous election come in to force what will happen is that the national issues were overshadow regional issue because the election for state assemblies and Lok sabha are fought on different issues.
- Hard time for Regional parties-: In the context of the disadvantage, Because of regional parties don’t have that much kind of outreach and also not that much expenditure budget for election. So, these regional parties will be rooted out and because of this political consensus among parties is not an easy task.
- Delay in election result-: As the election conducted on a larger scale right from capturing the votes to the counting procedure, it will be a varitirious and time consuming process also a proper voting system as being used to handle such huge amount of votes efficient. So, that there would be no tempering of the vote. Most of the state parties are demanding the conduct of elections through ballet papers. Now if we imagine conduct of simultaneous with the help of ballet paper not with the help of EVM, the amount of time it will consume to get out the consolidated result is going to be huge.
- Constitutional problems-: Amending so many articles and because the share nature makes it almost impossible. If we talk about law commission of India, it cited three examples of BELGIUM, SWEDAN and SOUTH AFRICA because they have one nation one election concept and they are also homogenous country.
- Majority required-: The passing of the bill for one nation one election will require backing of at least half of the members of both the houses of the parliament. If it is in the lower house it needs acceptance of upper house.
- Resource required-: This new process shall be required man power and machinery on a humongous scale managing all the work that is done over the period of 5 years in just a day seems to be challenging.
- The final solution may lie in either amending the constitution and going with a presidential form of government or Fixing the tenure of the assemblies and the Lok Sabha. Amending the constitution means that shifting parliamentary form of government to presidential form of government.
- One Nation one election will be a good change but only if it could carry out with the proper execution of policies and rules, taking in to account the growing and aspiring needs of a good administrative culture and system.
- A focused group of constitution experts, think tanks, Government officials and representative of the political parties have to come together and talk about the way forward.
If simultaneous elections implemented in the country, then amendments to be made in some articles of the constitution and legislation: –
- Article 83 which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament
- Article 85 which deals with session of parliament, prorogation and dissolution
- Article 172 which deals with duration of state legislatures
- Article 174 which deals with dissolution of state assemblies
- Article 356 which deals with president’s rule
- The representation of People Act, 1951 Act would have to be amended to build in provisions for stability of tenure for both parliaments and assemblies. This should include the following crucial elements-:
- Restructuring the powers and function of the ECI to facilitate procedures required for simultaneous elections.
- A definition of simultaneous election can be added to section 2 of the 1951 act.
From the point of view of the election commission and the election management simultaneous election is a brilliant idea. After all the voter, the polling booth election staff and the security forces are still the same. Hence the concepts seem to be not just convenient but economical too. The constitutional does provide sufficient rules to make amendments to suit the changing time and needs of the country. This flexibility not just an enabling tool but infect the responsibility on the government to provide the best governance system processes and opportunities to its citizens. To cure the uncontrolled campaign expenditure, we can introduce a gap on the expenditure of as political parties. Election impact everyone in the country. The citizen’s business, administrative machinery, political party leaders and so on. Without a general consenters and wider acceptance, the intend and efficiency of one nation one election could be compromise.
So we can say that there are many challenges in implementing these changes but we must need shy away from bringing in these must need reforms in our system if implemented to perfection we might actually see a new and resurgent India.
 One Nation One Election Drishti IAS, https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-editorials/one-nation-one-election-2 (last visited Jul 2, 2021)
One Nation One Election: Requirement, benefits, voters list, All India Presiding Officers conference and more, https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/one-nation-one-election-requirement-benefits-significance-and-more-1606742728-1 (last visited Jul 2, 2021)
 India must reject the one nation-one election idea Hindustan Times, https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/india-must-reject-the-one-nation-one-election-idea-101615558600563.html (last visited Jul 2, 2021)
 Election Commission Ready for ‘One Nation, One Election’, Says CEC Sunil Arora After PM’s Pitch News18, https://www.news18.com/news/india/election-commission-ready-for-one-nation-one-election-says-cec-sunil-arora-after-pms-pitch-3197663.html (last visited Jul 2, 2021)
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