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Opinion

Prime Minister Launches ‘One Nation One Choice’ System Again

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday once again launched his One Nation, One Choice idea – simultaneous polls by parliamentarians, state assemblies and local bodies – saying this was not just a matter of debate, but a requirement for the country.

Addressing presidents of legislatures across India via video link, Modi also suggested a common voter list for all elections to avoid wasting resources. The prime minister argued that simultaneous elections at all levels should be conducted using a common voter list.

“Every few months, we see elections in some part of the country. Everyone knows what the impact of these surveys is on development. There is a need for further study and discussion on the issue and I suggest that the presiding officers can lead such discussions, ”Modi said.

The idea of ​​One Nation, One Choice was first launched by Modi in 2015. It is also on the agenda of his Bharatiya Janata Party. The idea, which involves an election every five years for the Lok Sabha, states, even corporations, has met strong resistance from rival parties. Last year, Congress skipped a meeting called by the prime minister on the issue and left parties called it a “way to replace our parliamentary democracy through the back door.”

The issue has sharply divided India’s political parties. Its advocates have argued that the move will help focus on governance, cut expenses and help channel security forces more efficiently. Its critics, including Congress, have alleged that the measure will undermine democratic accountability, the federal structure and also pointed to its lack of viability within the constitutional framework.

Congressional spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the prime minister has been pushing for simultaneous elections, but any such move requires structural changes to the constitution. “It also goes against the very essence of democracy. So, we think it’s just rhetoric, “he added.

Describing presidents as a bridge between the public and the Constitution, Modi indirectly attacked Congress for imposing the emergency rule in the 1970s. The prime minister said it was an attempt to dilute the separation of powers of the three wings. state, but that the Constitution ultimately provided a solution.

“After the emergency, the system of checks and balances continued to strengthen as the legislative, executive and judicial branches advanced, learning from the episode,” he said.

On Constitution Day, which commemorates the adoption of India’s Constitution, the prime minister said that the national charter had also helped India address the challenge posed by Covid-19 by allowing the passage of various laws to help people. He praised MPs for accepting pay cuts and working harder to increase Parliament’s productivity.

The prime minister cautioned against the trend to keep projects pending, citing the example of the Sardar Sarovar dam, which was stagnant for years, delaying the benefits that accrued to the people of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan when it was finally built. .

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