ONE NATION ONE ELECTION (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     15th March 2024        

Context: Recently, the Kovind panel submitted its report on "One nation, one election" to the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Kovind Committee Recommendation

  • Fundamental Transformation in Governance: Simultaneous elections recommended by the Ram Nath Kovind-led committee would fundamentally transform the electoral process and governance structure.
  • Constitutional Amendment Proposal: The committee proposed amending the Constitution to enable simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha, state assemblies, and local bodies by 2029.
  • Unanimous Consensus: Recommendations stemmed from unanimous opinions gathered from political parties, experts, and stakeholders, emphasizing the necessity for simultaneous elections.
  • Enabling Legal Mechanism: The report urged the development of a legally tenable mechanism by the Centre to restore the cycle of simultaneous elections.
  • Mitigation of Governance Disruptions: Simultaneous elections aim to reduce disruptions to governance and policy paralysis caused by the Model Code of Conduct, potentially boosting economic growth.
  • Adjustment of Legislative Assembly Terms: Recommendations include adjusting the terms of legislative assemblies in three phases over the next five years.

Simultaneous Elections

  • About: Simultaneous elections, or "One Nation, One Election," entail holding elections for Lok Sabha, all state Legislative Assemblies, and local bodies (municipalities and panchayats) concurrently.
  • Historical Precedent: Simultaneous elections were first conducted in seven states—Bihar, Bombay, Madras, Mysore, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal—in 1957.
  • Subsequent Changes: Despite initial success, simultaneous elections fell out of practice after the fourth general elections of 1967. 
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