PM pitches for ‘One Nation, One Election’ as need of India

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday again emphasised the need to introduce the “One Nation, One Election” formula to save time and money of the country. Reiterating his idea for simultaneous elections across India, the Prime Minister said that “One Nation, One Election” is not a matter of debate only, but this is the need for India. The Prime Minister pitched the idea while addressing the concluding session of the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference via video conferencing in Gujarat’s Kevadia on the occasion of the celebrations of Constitution Day.

Modi suggested that a single voters’ list should be prepared for the Lok Sabha, assembly and panchayat polls, saying that separate lists are a waste of resources. “Only one voter list should be used for Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and other elections. Why’re we wasting time and money on these lists?,” Modi said. “One Nation, One Election’ isn’t just an issue of deliberation, but also need of the country. It hampers the developmental work and all of you know about it. We must think about it seriously and office-holders can lead deliberations on this.”

“I would urge you to take initiatives to make aspects of our Constitution more popular among our youth and that too, through innovative methods,” said the Prime Minister. Modi has been committed to the idea of “One Nation, One Election” since he first became Prime Minister in 2014. As per the Prime Minister, “One Nation, One Election” would reduce the cost of holding elections, and limit all elections to a single season as elections happen somewhere or the other almost all the time at present.

Modi had been pressing for holding a constructive dialogue to enable the Election Commission to hold elections simultaneously to bring down expenses. Besides, this will also give governments more free time to implement welfare schemes. It is often argued that the Model Code of Conduct gets in the way of the government announcing projects or policy plans for the benefit of the people. In 2003, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had taken up the matter with Congress President Sonia Gandhi who was receptive to begin with, but the idea could not be ultimately pursued.

In a swipe at the Congress over the delay in the Sardar Sarovar dam project, he said that those who caused the delay still have no regrets. Noting that the Indian Constitution has many features but a special feature is “importance of duties”, the Prime Minister said that Gandhi ji was very keen on it as he saw a close link between rights and duties. He said that when politics takes over people and nation-first policies, the nation has to pay a heavy price. “Our Constitution shows us the way to fight every challenge in the 21st century. Our Constitution is moving swiftly towards its 75th year. In such a scenario, we have to work in a planned way to turn processes in sync with the new decade.”

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