In India, elections are almost a perennial feature. Every year, elections are held in one or two states or sometimes more. Holding elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies involves huge burden on country’s exchequer running into crore’s of rupees. This all constitute non-productive expenditure. The idea of “one nation, one election” will enable ECI to hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha as well as state reassemblies. This would certainly reduce expenditure on elections to a great extent besides saving time and avoiding frequent disruptions in country’s development on account of implementation of Code of Conduct. Obviously, the country where millions of people still live below the poverty lines, many facing starvation, can’t afford expending hundred of crores of rupees on elections.
The money saved could be utilised on welfare of poor and moralized people as well as on country’s development. The idea primarily seems to be very robust considering it from the financial angle. However, there may be myriad challenges on the front of logistics, moving of EVM’s and VVPAT’S, deployment of human resources as well as security concerns. Besides, will the voters be having clarity about issues and could make a right choice of their public representatives since state’s and central elections issues differ. There would be other challenges of taking all the political parties on board, allaying their apprehensions of this present move being dangerous to democratic and federal structure of the country etc and convince them of the dire necessity of effecting these electoral reforms. Providing level playing field to all political parties would be another challenge. The idea/ issue need constructive and thoughtful discussion in parliament, weighting all its pros and cons for the country, its people. Above all, the biggest challenge would be for the EC of India to ensure free and fair election in the simultaneous hustling in such a mammoth electoral exercise. Holding the expenditure on elections under check is definitely the need of the hour. Definitely, Challenges of synchronizing the Lok Sabha and Assemblies elections are umpteen, but let’s see as to how things unfold in future. That would be watched anxiously by all citizens of the country.
Ravi Sharma, Dhariwal