The BJP has re-ignited the debate on “one nation, one poll” with the Lok Sabha elections fast approaching.
On Monday, BJP president Amit Shah, in a letter to the Law Commission, pushed for simultaneous elections in the country, saying it would reduce expenditure, ensure that the nation is not in an “election mode” throughout the year and save developmental works from getting delayed.
Pitching various benefits of holding simultaneous elections in the country, Mr Shah said that the opposition to simultaneous polls seems to be politically motivated and dismissed as “baseless” the argument that the concept is against the federal structure of the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has on various occasions supported the concept of simultaneous polls. The issue was also addressed by President Ram Nath Kovind and his predecessor Pranab Mukherjee.
A BJP delegation led by Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and comprising of senior leader Bhupendra Yadav and Vinay Shastrabuddhe met Law Commission officials on Monday to discuss the “one nation, one poll” issue and submitted Mr Shah’s letter. The delegation urged that legal provisions should be amended so that a single election can be held across the country.
The law panel, which is examining the feasibility of holding simultaneous polls, had sought views of the political parties before finalising its report. Both the BJP and Congress had stayed away from consultation organised by the commission last month. The Congress had met the commission top brass recently where it had opposed the concept of simultaneous polls.
In his eight-page letter, Mr Shah said some ruling political parties decide on “short-sighted” and “populist” policies ahead of scheduled elections and end up adversely impacting governance.
Claiming that joint polls will strengthen the federal structure, he said that holding simultaneous polls is not only a concept but a principle which can be implemented.
He supported his view by citing the example of Karnataka where, in 1980, the voters chose Congress at the Centre and JD(S) to run the state government.
Mr Shah said that in a progressive democracy like India development efforts and policy decisions get interrupted when the model code of conduct for elections is enforced.