BJP’s ‘One Nation, One Election’ plan is infeasible: Sena leader
In a setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) proposal of simultaneous polls in the country, its ally Shiv Sena on Sunday raised doubts over its implementation. It also raised questions about the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system.
Sena leader and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut called the plan “infeasible” and said it would put regional parties at a disadvantage.
On June 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting in an effort to form consensus around its ‘One Nation, One Election’ pitch. However, no Sena representatives attended the meeting as it coincided with party’s foundation day.
Raut on Sunday said the idea must be debated. “In such a vast country, governments are pulled down or formed with one vote. Then is ‘One Nation, One Election’ feasible? One cannot have governor’s rule in a state for three years. There are many issues related to this and it needs to be discussed. It is practically infeasible right now,” Raut said.
According to party leaders, a simultaneous poll system would benefit national parties, while regional parties such as Shiv Sena would suffer and state issues would get diluted.
Vinayak Raut, group leader of Sena in the Lok Sabha, said the party has not yet given its submission to the Central government on the plan.
“When state and Central elections are held simultaneously, elections are held on national issues. In that case, the regional party will be at a disadvantage. We will put forward all the issues and concerns before the committee.”
He also questioned the legitimacy of EVMs and VVPATs if simultaneous polls were to be implemented. “There are a lot of questions raised on EVMs and VVPATs. So our demand is to make changes and improvement in this system. In earlier elections, there was 100% voting confirmation. But even with VVPATs, people are raising doubts. There is no harm in using ballot paper for elections. Ballot paper is the best voting system where voters are assured of who they voted for,” he said.