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“Democracy about evolution” Parliamentary affairs minister on ‘One Nation, One Election’ proposal

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New Delhi [India]: Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi said on Friday that there will be a discussion on ‘One Nation, One Election’ in Parliament.

He termed the proposal an evolution of Indian democracy and asked why the Opposition was scared of it.

“There will be a discussion (on ‘One Nation, One Election’) in Parliament. why is the Opposition scared (about it)? Democracy is about evolution; India is the mother of democracy. This is part of evolution,” Pralhad Joshi said.

“In this evolution every new proposal that benefits the nation will be discussed. For now, a committee has been formed and they will give their suggestion and then discussion will be held on the subject. There were simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies till 1967. Now there are polls every few months and it is a huge expenditure. This must be discussed,” Pralhad Joshi said.

The government has decided to call a Special Session of Parliament from September 18-22 where it is speculated that the government could bring a bill on ‘One Nation, One Election’.

However, the Parliamentary Affairs minister gave no indication of what was on the agenda for this special session of Parliament. Responding to questions from reporters he said “As far as the special session goes, I will discuss the agenda with you later”.

The Union government has constituted a committee headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind to explore the possibility of ‘One Nation, One Election’ which envisages the holding of general election and state Assembly elections simultaneously.

Sources said that the committee will explore the possibility of bringing legislation regarding it. A parliamentary standing committee, the Law Commission and Niti Ayog had earlier examined the ‘One Nation, One Election’ proposal and submitted reports on the subject.

The opposition INDIA alliance that is meeting in Mumbai has however opposed the idea of ‘One Nation, One Election” being discussed in the house.

Rajya Sabha MP and UBT Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said ” “Today the country is facing farmers’ issues, rising unemployment, China’s aggression… If the special session will address all these issues, then it’s welcomed.

If it will be used to divert attention from these issues, then it shows that BJP is nervous. I want to ask them (central govt) as to when will a committee be formed on inflation, corruption, rising unemployment, women’s reservation…”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has several times pitched the idea of One Nation, One Election. In November 2020 while addressing a conference of presiding officers he said, “One nation, one election is not only a subject of debate but a necessity for India. There is an election in India every month, which hampers development. Why should the country waste so much money?”.

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