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‘One Nation, One Election’ is for legislature to decide: CEC

Pune: Highlighting that ‘One Nation, One Election’ is for the legislature to decide, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday noted that the commission can handle the decision administratively.

“This definitely involves a whole lot of logistics, a Whole lot of disruption, but this is in the legislative regime …so this is for the legislature to decide,” Kumar said.

“It is not within the remit and mandate of the commission but if it definitely does it and we have conveyed our position that administratively the commission can handle it… but it is in the legislative regime,” he added.

Earlier this year, former Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, in an exclusive interview with ANI had said that One Nation One Election is a good suggestion, but this will need a change in the Constitution and it is to be decided in Parliament.

“According to the Constitution, all the elections should be held simultaneously. The parliament elections that are held since independence, all three of them are simultaneous elections. It is only later that sometimes the Assembly was dissolved, sometimes parliament, which disturbed the schedule. One Nation One Election is a good suggestion but this needs a change in the constitution,” Chandra had said.

“An assembly which will not be able to complete the 5-year term in the Assembly will have to think about whether we can abolish it under the Constitution or we need to increase the tenure of parliament for simultaneous election in the country, he said.

Chandra further added that it is to be decided in Parliament that should we take half of the assembly together and the next time take the other half together, it is to be decided in parliament, but the election commission is fully prepared and the election commission is capable of holding all the elections simultaneously and is ready to elect it only once in 5 years,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, on multiple occasions, pitched for the ‘One Nation, One Election’ including in his sixth address to the nation on August 15, 2019 from the ramparts of Red Fort.

Addressing the nation on India’s 73rd Independence Day, Modi said, “GST brought to life the dream of One Nation, One Tax. India has also achieved One Nation, One Grid in the energy sector. Arrangements have been made for One Nation, One Mobility Card and today, India is talking about One Nation, One Election.”

“The discussion on this should happen democratically and at some time, for realising the dream of ‘Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat’, we have to achieve more such things”, he said.

‘One Nation, One Election’ refers to the idea of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

The idea was also endorsed by President Ram Nath Kovind, in his customary address to the joint sitting of Parliament after the beginning of second term of Prime Minister Modi.

Many key BJP leaders have hailed the concept of ‘One Nation, One Election’ saying that the idea behind simultaneous elections is to save the country’s resources, time and expenditure.