India needs to replace frequent elections with One nation One election

Synopsis –  India should hold simultaneous elections (One nation one electionto tackle various challenges associated with frequent elections.

About One nation one election:

  • It is the idea of synchronising the elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies. In can be achieved by restructuring the current Indian election cycle.
Challenges in frequent Elections
  1. Huge incalculable expenditure to conduct elections. For example- the Bihar assembly election alone in 2015 cost about Rs 3000 crore.
  2. Frequent elections impact the delivery of essential services. Such as,
    • Teachers lost teaching weeks on election duty.
    • Officers and vehicles from practically every other department are “requisitioned” for election duty.
    • Frequent elections also disrupt essential public work such as road construction, welfare scheme supervision, etc.
  3. Imposition of the Model Code of Conduct: This will impact the governance and implementation of key policy initiatives.
  4. The efficiency of a politician doing public good is also reduced during the campaign. This is because most of them are putting in 16-18 hours of work each day doing only rallies and campaigning. As a result, important meetings and decisions get postponed.
  5. Further, there is also a huge cost involved in deploying security forces repeatedly during elections.
Challenges in holding One nation one election in India
  • India had concurrent elections for the first two decades. The first general elections held simultaneously to Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of the States in October 1951.
  • But in 1968 1969 and 1970, the cycle got disrupted due to the premature dissolution of some Legislative Assemblies.

This is the reason that some experts believe that if a government loses its majority in the House, it eventually leads to fresh elections and disrupt One nation one election in India.

Suggestions to conduct One nation one election

It is virtually impossible for a ruling party/coalition to lose numbers with the current anti-defection law. Even if they do, there are certain global legal provisions available to maintain the electoral cycle.

  • Coupling the ‘no-confidence motion’ along with the ‘vote of confidence’ in an alternative government. This vote of confidence will also mention a leader to head it. After passing both of them(no-confidence motion and vote of confidence), the alternate government will head the government for the remaining term. This helps to maintain the fixed term.
Benefits of having Simultaneous Elections
  • Reduced Financial cost of conduction Election
  • Reduced Cost of repeated administrative restrictions
  • Reduced visible and invisible costs of repeatedly deploying security forces
  • Reduced campaign and finance costs of political parties.
Way forward

There is a need to calibrate and club the elections in a mature and sensible way. So that it could come to a situation where all elections are held simultaneously.

Source- The Indian Express


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