The challenges before the government are no less, approval of the states is also necessary with a two-thirds majority

Pankaj Prasad
One Nation One Election
One Nation One Election

Article 83 of the Constitution states that the term of the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assembly shall be five years.

The Bill related to One Nation One Election will be a Constitution Amendment Bill. In such a situation, the government will need a two-thirds majority in both houses to pass it. In such a situation, the government will have to find new allies to support the bill, especially in the Rajya Sabha, because the BJP does not even have a simple majority here on its own. Till now, the government has been getting the support of parties like BJD, YSRCP, TDP on the necessary bills. On this issue, merely amending the constitution will not be enough, approval of the states will also be required.

The debate on holding simultaneous elections in the country is old. Kovind had supported it after becoming President. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started this debate afresh. Apart from his speech in the Rajya Sabha, he also advocated simultaneous elections citing the adverse effect on the development works due to separate elections in the BJP's National Working Committee. Meanwhile, BJP President JP Nadda on Friday met former President Kovind at his residence in Delhi to discuss the feasibility of One Nation One Election.

Parliamentary committee has already examined: A parliamentary committee has already looked into the issue in consultation with various stakeholders including the Election Commission. The committee has made some recommendations in this regard. Now the matter has been referred to the Law Commission to prepare a 'practical roadmap and framework' for simultaneous elections.

Why is there a need for constitutional amendment?

Article 83 of the Constitution states that the term of the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assembly shall be five years. In such a situation, amendment in this article is necessary to conduct simultaneous elections for the first time.
Article 83(2) states that the term of the Legislative Assembly can be extended only for one year at a time.
Article 85 empowers the President to prematurely dissolve the Lok Sabha.
In Article 172, the tenure of the Assembly has been fixed at five years.
Under Article 174, the President has been given the right to dissolve the Lok Sabha and the Governor the right to dissolve the Assembly.
Article 356 provides for imposition of President's rule in the state on the recommendation of the Governor. For one country, one election, all these articles of the Constitution will have to be amended.

Many challenges too: Krishnamurthy

Former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy said that it is necessary to hold Lok Sabha and state assembly elections simultaneously. It has many advantages like election expenses will be less, time will also be saved. So much time will not be wasted in publicity etc. But it will have to face many challenges. It won't be that easy. He said, there is ample evidence that voters vote differently even when state elections and parliamentary elections are held simultaneously. On the question of political consensus being challenging for holding simultaneous elections, Krishnamurthy said, absolutely. It will be challenging, no doubt about it.

There will be challenges

Krishnamurthy said, many challenges will arise in holding simultaneous elections. This will require a lot of financial expenditure, substantial armed forces and manpower, but these are issues that can be overcome. The biggest challenge is the constitutional issue.

Simultaneous elections a threat to the federal structure.

Opposition leaders on Friday criticized the central government's move to set up a committee to study the possibility of 'one nation-one election', alleging it would pose a threat to the federal structure of the country. The opposition said the India alliance has unsettled the ruling BJP, forcing the government to explore the possibility of holding simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

CPI leader D Raja said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi always talks about India being the mother of democracy, but the government has taken the decision unilaterally without discussing with other political parties. This is a threat to the federal structure of the country. Congress leader Kamal Nath said, the Center cannot just amend the Constitution, they also need the approval of the states.