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Bablu Kumar Sharma**

India is a democratic country and follows a parliamentary system of governance. Legislatures are elected by the people either directly or indirectly. One Nation One Election is not a new concept under our constitutional scheme. In India a few years ago the concept of the One Nation One Election had been implemented previously but due to some political issues, the method of the One Nation One Election was not followed, and right now India does not follow the One Nation One Election. The concept of the One Nation One Election is very important and it must be implemented in the nation. The concept of the One Nation One Election is not desirable it is the need of the country. The idea behind this concept is to conduct a single election of the Lok Sabha, State Legislature, and Panchayats. Current India witnesses about 5 to 7 state elections on average year this creates a hurdle in the development of the country. Our Election Commission is also under pressure for the election in the country and the second aspect is that a huge amount of money is used in the election process which also affects the economy of the country.

Historical Background

India’s first general election was held in the year 1952, the election was held in Lok Sabha and state assembly simultaneously. The concept of the One Nation One Election is not new to India. The single election was held in the year 1952. The instances of the simultaneous election were also observed in the years 1957, 1962, and 1967 after the last election of 1967 the chain of the simultaneous election broke down due to the permanent dissolution of the Haryana legislative assembly in 1968, Bihar and West Bengal Legislative assemblies in 1969 and Lok Sabha in 1970. So for three consecutive general elections, the Lok Sabha enjoyed a full term in the office along with simultaneous elections with the State Legislative Assemblies. In 2014, the 16th Lok Sabha election has been conducted and there had been a series of elections for each legislative assembly till 2018.

Effect on Constitutional and Statutory Provision

Implementation of the One Nation One Election is not an easy task for the government because few provisions of the constitution need to the amendment. The amendment process of the Indian constitution is neither flexible nor rigid. Our founding father of the constitution has given the power of parliament to amend the constitution if requires. In order to implement the One Nation One Election certain provision needs to be amended so the simultaneous election of the Lok Sabha and state legislative election can be conducted.

 The following Article of the constitution needs to be amended:

  • Article 83[1] provides the tenure of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
    • This Article states that Rajya Sabha shall not be subject to the dissolution unless one-third of its member retire as soon as the expiry of every second year
    • This Article states that Lok Sabha shall continue its function for the period of five years unless dissolve earlier.
    • In case of emergency, the term of a house can be extended for a maximum period of 2 years.
  • Article 172[2] provides the tenure of the state legislature
    • This Article states that the State Legislative Assembly shall continue to function for a period of 5 years unless dissolve earlier
    • In case of emergency, the term of the State Legislature can be extended for a maximum period of 1 year.
    • This Article also states that the State Legislative Council shall not be subject to dissolution unless one-third of the members retire as soon as the expiry of every second year.
  • Article 85[3] states that prorogation and dissolution of parliament
    • This Article state that President has the power to dissolve the Lok Sabha if he thinks fit. He may send a notice to the speaker of Lok Sabha for the dissolution of Lok Sabha.
  • Article 174[4] states that prorogation and dissolution of State Legislative Assembly
    • Article 174 (2) (b) provides that if the Governor may find to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly he may send a notice to the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly for the dissolution. 
  • The Representation of the People Act, 1951
    • The Representation of the People Act, 1951 needs to be amended because it covers various modalities of conducting elections in the country.

Recommendation

The various recommendation has been given by various committee in the support of simultaneous election which is as follows:

Recent Events

Recently, the Prime Minister of India attend the 80th All India President Officer Conference through video conferencing, at Keadiya (Gujarat) on the eve of Constitutional Day. He has raised a voice for the One Nation One Election and also given an emphasis on the single voter list. He has also appealed to the presiding officer to simplify the language of the statute book. He has given the emphasis that both the election should be conducted within a given span of time.

Advantages of One Nation One Election

  • Reduce the expenditure– it helps to check on the poll expenses. Simultaneous election reduces the cost of election because multiple elections create a greater loss in terms of money and time. Ultimately it shall be beneficial for the people of India because public money shall be saved
  • Reduce the burden– One nation one election reduces the burden of the election commission because they have to conduct one election in a country within the specified time period. The administrative setup is also reduced. Less number of security forces can manage the election.
  • Ensure timely Implementation– One nation on election helps the legislature to prepare laws and policies for the welfare of the people of Indian rather than think about the election. Because nowadays most political parties and leaders are always worried about the election on the other hand executives shall focus on the administrative function rather than they are busy on election duty.
  •  Reduction in malpractices– The chances of malpractice in the election may also reduce because the election commission of India shall get sufficient time to prevent malpractice in the next election.

Expanses in the Election

Source: Centre for Media Studies[5]

This report witnessed that the quantum of expenditure is accelerated in every election and most of the political parties are involved in election expenditure. It indirectly affects our economy. The quantum of expenditure must be reduced for the development of our country. Therefore, one nation one election should be implemented as soon as possible in the country.

Challenges during the Implementation of One Nation One Election

Various challenges may arise while implementing the One Nation One Election which are as follows:

  • Common consensus– it is a very difficult task to convince all the political parties for one nation one election and it is also a very difficult task to bring together all political parties on the idea of one nation one election.
  • A large number of Electronic Voting Machines– if one nation one election is implemented a large number of electronic voting machines and Voter verified paper audit trails paid shall be required for the election
  • A large number of staff– if one nation one election is implemented a large number of polling staff shall be required to conduct the election and a large number of security personnel are also required
  • Dissolution of the house– for the implementation of one nation one election the state assemblies must be dissolved before the completion of full tenure but most political parties may not agree to the dissolution of assemblies

Conclusion

One nation one election system may change the election scenario in India. One Nation One Election system must be implemented in India because it helps in the development of our country. There are various agency has recommended the One Nation One Election and our prime minister has also given his emphasis on this issue. The Election Commission of India has also purposed the idea of one year one election. There are various advantages and challenges of one nation one election if the parliament removes all the demerits of this policy the one nation one election helps in the growth of our economy.

**The author has qualified UGC JRF 2020 July Cycle and has completed his LLM from Central University of Punjab, Bathinda and B.Sc. LLB from Central University of South Bihar.

Disclaimer:  The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author and not to the Jurisedge Academy.

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[1] Article 80 of the Indian Constitution, 1950

[2] Article 172 of the Indian Constitution, 1950

[3] Article 85 of the Indian Constitution, 1950

[4] Article 174 of the Indian Constitution, 1950

[5] https://www.bloombergquint.com/elections/india-election-expenditure-2019-lok-sabha-elections-was-the-worlds-costliest

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