Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks while addressing the concluding session of the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference via video link, in New Delhi on Thursday.(ANI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks while addressing the concluding session of the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference via video link, in New Delhi on Thursday.(ANI Photo)

‘Polls held every few months, impact on development works known to all’: PM Modi pitches for ‘One Nation, One Election’

One Nation, One Election: The Prime Minister also suggested a single voters’ list for Lok Sabha, assembly and panchayat polls, saying separate lists are a waste of resources.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 26, 2020 03:23 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for ‘One Nation, One Election’, saying it is the need of India as polls taking place every few months impact development works.

Addressing the concluding session of the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference via video conference, PM Modi also paid homage to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and asserted that India is fighting terrorism now with new policy and new process.

“Elections are held at different places every few months, the impact it has on development works is known to all. Therefore, it is a must to have deep study and deliberation on ‘One Nation, One Election’,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also suggested a single voters’ list for Lok Sabha, assembly and panchayat polls, saying separate lists are a waste of resources.

“We must remember that when politics take over people and nation-first policies, the nation has to pay adversely in such situations,” he said.

In his address to the nation this Independence Day, PM Modi had focused on the government’s push for holding simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and assembly polls.

Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister had said, “GST [Goods and Services Tax] achieved the dream of ‘one nation, one tax’. We successfully attained ‘one nation, one grid’ in the power sector. We also developed ‘one nation, one mobility card’ system, and today there is a discussion in the country for ‘one nation, one poll’ and it should happen in a democratic manner.”

The Prime Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been speaking of “one nation, one poll” as a measure that will same resources and allow time for governance instead of forever being in election mode. The Opposition, however, has been vehemently opposed to the plan, describing it as a threat to India’s federal structure.

PM Modi had pitched the idea of “one nation, one poll” during his first term too; a parliamentary standing committee, the Niti Aayog, and the Law Commission subsequently deliberated on the issue and submitted reports.

The Law Commission recommended holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies to save public money; and the NITI Aayog suggested synchronised polling in phases for Lok Sabha and assembly polls from 2024.

The Election Commission of India, for its part, has said the proposal can be taken up only after political parties reach a consensus.

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