One Nation, One Poll – Latest News from Jammu and Kashmir | Tourism

Poonam I Kaushish
No sooner have the trumpets of victory in the last five Assembly polls ended than the parties are gearing up for the next round of the Great Indian Political Circus in December. In which politicians of all colors, caste creeds with a heavy dose of vote-banking politics, filled with I-myself syndrome, serenade voters. Worse, even the semblance of administration is suppressed, leading to chronic disease.
Let’s face it. After the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the country had 24 State Assembly polls and is now gearing up for the end of the year in Gujarat and Himachal, followed by Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya in February, Karnataka in May, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram in November, Rajasthan and Telangana in December 2023, Andhra, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim April 2024, Maharashtra and Haryana October and Jharkhand November/December . In February 2025, Delhi goes to the polls, followed by Bihar in November/December.
As the country jostles under the weight of the year-round Perpetual Election Syndrome (PES) wreaking havoc on our body politic, now is the time for our parties to collectively think seriously about changing this to a single election. for Parliament, State Legislatures down to Panchayats.
In fact, Prime Minister Modi has been floating this idea since 2016. As it would not only save money for the treasury and parties, but would allow Center and State governments to focus on good governance that s is stopped because of the code of conduct. . Also, it gives ample time for netas and workers to present the people-oriented programs to the aam aadmi.
In 1999, the Law Commission and the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice recommended simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies to improve our electoral system. The two ballots are synchronized together to allow voters to vote in a single day at the same time or alternately, in a progressive manner.
Think. A mega-election every five years with a common electoral list would not only save time and massive expenditure by the government and various stakeholders on frequent election campaigns, black money, halting the engagement of the government and security force personnel for an extended period and the perpetuation of caste, religion and community issues, etc.
Furthermore, it would eliminate incompetence, malfeasance and informal governance, allowing central and state governments to work, make tough decisions in the public interest and ensure good governance without worrying about the impact. on its vote banks. Many good initiatives are abandoned due to sounding considerations for fear of upsetting a caste, community, religion or region.
The frequent polls give rise to short-sighted and “politically safe” populist moves on “tough” structural reforms that may be more beneficial to the public in a longer-term perspective. Leading to sub-optimal governance and having a negative impact on the design and implementation of public policies and development projects and other government activities. All of them, becoming victims of political paralysis, mismanagement and poor implementation.
Recall that elections to Lok Sabha and all state assemblies were held simultaneously between 1951 and 1967, when the cycle was disrupted due to the premature dissolution of some assemblies in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, the fourth Lok Sabha was dissolved prematurely and new elections were held in 1971. , in many unstable Central and State governments, resulting in early dissolution of the Lok Sabha or assemblies.
Admittedly, the stakes of the polls at the Center and in the States are different; therefore, mixing them is not recommended. As this might confuse voters, a party might deserve Center support for its policies and performance at the national level, but deserve popular punishment for its performance in a state.
Second, simultaneous voting could be politically motivated, because when simultaneous elections are held, voters tend to vote for the same party. Moreover, having a fixed term of the Lok Sabha and the state legislature goes against the fundamental principles of parliamentary democracy. Hypothetically, if a government with popular mandate is eliminated by vote, it would continue to hold office or be replaced by another government, which would not necessarily have popular mandate.
Obviously, a government that does not have the confidence of the House would be imposed on the people, with no say in the matter. An air of de facto dictatorship or monarchical anarchy, an idea that translates into unrepresentative governance.
However, some believe that simultaneous elections could be held for state assemblies and give them a fixed term. If an elected state government were to fall, the Center could impose the power of the president until the time of a new ballot. But the Lok Sabha cannot have a fixed term as there is no provision for the power of the President in the Centre. This could create more problems than solve them.
Some constitutional experts offer a solution. If the remainder of Lok Sabha’s tenure is not long, there could be a provision for the President to take care of the administration of the country, on the aid and advice of his Council of Ministers to be appointed by him until the time when the next Chamber is constituted within the prescribed period. Or if the remainder of the term is long, new elections may be held and the term of the House in that case should be for the remainder of what would have been the original term.
Either way, the idea should be widely debated. Its pros and cons weighed before arriving at a final solution as the amendment would involve changing the basic structure of the Constitution. Moreover, although the BJP supports concurrent polls, Congress, the Left and Trinamool believe it is unworkable, impracticable, unworkable and undemocratic.
Where do we go from here? Relevantly, in 2015, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Law recommended “a practical method for organizing simultaneous elections. In 2018, the Law Commission tabled a series of recommendations proposing an election system modeled on Sweden, South Africa and Belgium. In Sweden, elections to county and municipal councils are held every four years at the same time as the country’s general elections. Ditto in South Africa where simultaneous polls take place every five years.
Elections to the Belgian Federal Parliament also take place every five years, coinciding with the elections to the European Parliament. A similar system is widespread in Spain, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Albania, Israel, Lesotho, Philippines, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Guatemala and was introduced in Indonesia last year.
The American model could be considered. The president and state governors are directly elected for a fixed four-year term and choose their own teams. The President is responsible to the House of Representatives and the Senate but is not required to seek their vote of confidence. This provides it with good governance, stability and continuity allowing it to make difficult decisions without fear of losing power.
Clearly, it is time for winds of change to blow over the Indian PES as elections are the bedrock of our democracy and we must avoid duplication of polls. With states in election mode every year, running government is like running with the hare and hunting with the dog. Indian democracy should not be reduced to tu-tu mein-mein between parties all the time. Modi may well be positioning One Poll as the next big reform to ‘clean up’ India, catch the opposition off guard and market it as enough destructive PES! (INFA)

Comments are closed.