ELECTORAL REFORM;ONE NATION,ONE ELECTION,ONE BHARAT..ARTICLE

हिमालयं समारभ्य यावत् इंदु सरेावरम् |

                                                   तं देवनिर्मितं देशं हिंदुस्थानं प्रचक्षते ||

Starting from Himalayas and extending upto Indian Ocean is the nation created by God which is known as  ‘Hindusthan’. Himalayan ranges including Hindukush parvat on Western side and the ranges extending upto North Myanmar  ( Brahmadesh ) on the Eastern side formed the Northern Boundary of ancient Hindusthan. This land extended upto the Indian Ocean on the Southern side.

This is the sacred land where God took Birth from time to time and recreated and established the social structure

The underlines mention’s about the vastness of India in various context especially in geographical context, journey  from Princely states,Colonial India to Independent- Democratic Bharath comes to be end after many sacrifices.

After the introduction of GST(Good’s and Service Tax) and emphasing more on cooperative federalism  against competitive one , what to be next?……….

Electoral reformative approach  of  govt. and introduction of Electoral Bond ,VVPAT ,Compulsory Disclosing of information of candidates even the assets,liabilities and criminal background many other reform yet to be come in which the One Nation-One Election the most substantial one.

As on 26th November (Law Day)Prime Minister Of India addresses the nation  with call of One Nation;One Election ,the intention and motive behind the speech are yet to be analysed by so called opposition,media person,researcher,and political guru’s, in 2014 the

The 16th Lok Sabha will not have a Leader of the Opposition, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has decided in consultation with the government after taking into account past practices and precedence,

There was no Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha during the prime ministerships of Jawahar Lal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi, when the Congress enjoyed a brute majority in the Lok Sabha, and the Opposition space had shrunk considerably.
According to Parliament rules, the biggest Opposition party in the House has to have at least 10 per cent of the total strength of the Lok Sabha, or 55 seats, to be eligible for the post of Leader of Opposition. Opposition don’t have even sufficient seats to claim for opposition ,major parties like congress restricted by only 44seats and presently Modi led NDA are expanding their rule in almost 19states legislation .

The sole ground of demanding One Nation-One Election’s demand is high expennditure in conducting different elsction it will reduce cost many times if conducted at once ,but are really the expense are too huge?

The Election Commission incurs a total cost of roughly ₹8,000 crore to conduct all State and federal elections in a span of five years, or roughly ₹1,500 crore every year. Nearly 600 million Indians vote in India’s elections, which means, it costs ₹27 per voter per year to keep India an electoral democracy. Is this a “massive” expense? To put this in context, all the States and the Centre combined incurred an expenditure of nearly ₹30 lakh crore in FY2014. Surely, 0.05% of India’s total annual expenditure is not a large price to pay for the pride of being the world’s largest and most vibrant electoral democracy. The notion that elections are prohibitively expensive is false and misleading. Instead of focussing on this issue govt should tries to implement various other’s Election commission in which they demanded to have State Financed Election’s(Indrajeet Gupta Committee Recommendation 1988 )instead present form of  donation practice in election’s( section 29-c of Representation Of People Act,1951 formal parties gives detail of donation only above 20000rs and in 13-A of Income Tax Act in which Political Parties are exempted from tax but detail of subscription should be given to income tax board  ) if they succeded to bring in force the other national importance  issue of Black Money in Election Campaign and Introduction of  the Electoral Bond to have more transparency in Electoral Donation seems to be forming another alternative of using huge black money in election’s campaign which are in Million’s and Billion,s.

The parliamentary committee noted that in South Africa, elections to national as well as provincial legislatures are held simultaneously for five years and municipal election are held two years later.

In Sweden, election to national legislature (Riksdag) and provincial legislature or county council (landsting), and local bodies or municipal assemblies are held on a fixed date, i.e. second Sunday, in September for four years. Almost all political parties during initial discussions have supported the idea of one election, though they have pointed out the practical difficulties in implementing the plan.

 

Holding simultaneous elections is not a new idea. India held its first four general elections in this way. The practice was changed in 1971 by Indira Gandhi. In 1995, then BJP president L.K. Advani tried to bring the idea backinto prominence, saying that delinking “has not been good either for the health of democracy or that of the administration.” In 2010, he made another attempt.This time he touted the benefit of  fixed-termlegislatures. “Our Constitution makers adopted the British pattern and invested the Executive with the authority to cut short the term of the elected legislature,” he wrote. So his idea “did not mean taking away Parliament’s right to throw out a government; but taking away government’s right to throw out Parliament.”

 

Problems associated with frequent elections:

  • Frequent elections affect policymaking and governance as the government is trapped in short-term thinking.
  • It also destabilises duly-elected governments and imposes a heavy burden on the exechequer.
  • It also puts pressure on political parties, especially smaller ones, as elections are becoming increasingly expensive.
  • The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) which comes into force with the announcement of poll dates, prevents government from announcing any new schemes, make any new appointments, transfers and postings without the approval of election commission. This brings normal work of the government to a standstill.
  • It also increases the cost of management to the election commission.

 

Frequent elections have some benefits too:

  • One, politicians, who tend to forget voters after the elections for five years have to return to them. This enhances accountability, keeps them on their toes.
  • Two, elections give a boost to the economy at the grassroots level, creating work opportunities for lakhs of people.
  • Three, there are some environmental benefits also that flow out of the rigorous enforcement of public discipline like non-defacement of private and public property, noise and air pollution, ban on plastics, etc.
  • Four, local and national issues do not get mixed up to distort priorities. In voters’ minds, local issues overtake wider state and national issues.
  • Besides, a staggered electoral cycle also acts as a check against demagoguery, fascism and oligarchy, in that order.
  • It also ensures that the mood of the nation at a particular moment does not hand over political power across a three-tiered democratic structure to one dispensation or individual. It gives people a chance to distinguish between the national, state and local interests, rather than being swept away in a “wave”, often manufactured by corporate media and the economic muscle of commercial carpetbaggers.
Their are many EVILS than good’s in the decision  as One Election leads to

Political Autonomy-

States will have to give up this power and wait for a national election schedule. Elected State government can’t choose to dissolve its Assembly and call for fresh elections

Less interaction public-politician interaction:

Frequent elections in the country will bring politicians back to public frequently whereas cutting down on elections would mean making them lazy for the rest of the term.

Different terms:

The terms of different state governments are ending on separate dates and years.

To hold simultaneous elections, the Centre will have to make some states agree to curtail the terms of their houses while others to extend theirs.

While extension may not be a problem, curtailment of Assembly terms may be a major issue.

Mixing up the national issues:

Holding both the elections together will also mean mixing up the national issues with those of the state.

The national issues would overpower the state which in turn would get less priority from the politicians.

Mutual consensus:

The biggest challenge to simultaneous polls lies in getting all parties political consensus needed to bring amendment in the law.

Hassle in normal public life can be managed:

The right of a voter to exercise her choice twice in a span of five years and hold governments accountable is much more important than just casting vote once and having no option to express opinion for the next five years.

Voter behavior:

There is clear empirical evidence that most Indian voters tend to choose the same party when elections are held simultaneously to both Centre and State, with the relationship diminishing as elections are held farther away.

Political autonomy:

Under a simultaneous elections regime, the State will be beholden to the Union government for elections to its State, which goes against the very grain of political autonomy under the federal structure.

Conclusion:

‘One India One Election’ would be a good change if it could be carried out with the proper execution ,but again it seems to be more autocratic than democratic step.To be sure, there are multiple issues that will need to be addressed if the country intends to move in this direction.Although it may not be immediately possible to move towards simultaneous elections, it is still worth debating and finding ways to eventually do so. The problem of premature dissolution has diminished significantly after the passage of the anti-defection law and the Supreme Court’s landmark Bommai judgement.

Vedansh Anand, FIMT College of Law

Writer http://indianlegalsolution.com

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