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‘One Nation, One Election’ Panel Submits Report To The President


Recommends Cutting Short Term Of State Assemblies To Synchronize With Lok Sabha Term

A High-Level Committee (HLC), appointed by the Central Government under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind, submitted its report on ‘One Nation, One Election’ to President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday (March 14), advocating simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state legislative assemblies, and local bodies, while at the same time recommending cutting short the term of state assemblies to synchronise with the term of the Lok Sabha.

In its extensive 18,626-page report, the HLC, tasked with examining the concept of ‘One Nation, One Election’ and propose specific amendments to the Constitution of India, the Representation of the People Act, 1950, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and other related laws, recommended holding simultaneous elections, citing the burden on various stakeholders such as the government, businesses, workers, courts, political parties, candidates, and civil society.

Considering the complexities involved in such an exercise, the committee suggested a two-step approach – first, hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies and second, synchronise the elections to municipalities and panchayats with those of the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, ensuring that the former are conducted within 100 days of the latter.

‘One Nation, One Election’ Panel Submits Report To The President, Lifeinchd
Other members of the ‘One Nation, One Election’ committee look on as committee chairman Ram Nath Kovind presents its report to President Droupadi Murmu.

Constitutional amendment

In order to synchronise the terms of the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, the committee has proposed insertion of Article 82A in the Constitution.

All the state assemblies which are constituted in general elections held after this Article is brought into effect (to be called “Appointed Date”) will come to end along with the expiry of the full term of the Lok Sabha.

“For the purpose of synchronisation of elections to the House of the People (Lok Sabha) and state legislative assemblies, the committee recommends that the President of India may, by notification, issued on the date of the first sitting of the House of the People after a General election, bring into force the provision of this Article (Article 82A), and that date of the notification shall be called the “Appointed date”.

“And the tenure of all state legislative assemblies, constituted by elections to the state legislative assemblies after the ‘Appointed Date’, and before the expiry of the full term of the House of the People, shall be only for the period ending up to the subsequent General elections to the House of the People.

“Thereafter, all General elections to the House of the People and all state legislative assemblies shall be held together simultaneously,” the report added.

In an effort to ease the process, an Implementation Group has been recommended to look into the execution of committee’s recommendations.

Taking Article 82A (4) into consideration, if the Election Commission is of the view that the elections to a particular legislative assembly cannot be conducted at the time of the General election, it can recommend to the President to declare, by an order, that the election to that legislative assembly may be conducted at a later date.

‘One Nation, One Election’ Panel Submits Report To The President, Lifeinchd
The cover of the report

In case of a hung House or a no-confidence motion

In the event of a hung House and a no-confidence motion, fresh elections can be held, but the tenure in that case will only be for the unexpired term, or for the remainder of the full term of five years. The expiry of this period would lead to dissolution of the House.

Among other amendments proposed is introduction of Article 324A to hold simultaneous elections to local bodies. An amendment to Article 325 has also been proposed to enable a single electoral roll and single elector’s photo identity card for this purpose.

Local bodies being in the state list, states would need to ratify these amendments. Such ratification will, however, not be required to hold simultaneous elections to the House of the People and state legislative assemblies.

Need to restore simultaneous elections: The committee noted that there was an urgent need to restore the cycle of simultaneous elections, which was disrupted after the initial decades of India’s independence.

Ramping up deployment of men & machines: The committee has proposed that the Election Commission of India, and State Election Commissions, draw up plans and estimates in advance for logistical arrangements, including the procurement of equipment like EVMs and VVPATs, and deployment of polling personnel and security forces.

A press release issued by the Press Information Bureau claimed that the report of the committee is an outcome of extensive consultations with stakeholders, experts and research work of 191 days, since its constitution on September 2, 2023.

Besides the chairman, the other members of the committee were Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah, former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Finance Commission Chairman NK Singh, former Lok Sabha Secretary General Dr Subhash C Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Law and Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal was a special invitee and Dr. Niten Chandra was the secretary of the HLC.

The release further stated that the committee held extensive consultations with different stakeholders, including 47 political parties which also submitted their views and suggestions in writing. Out of these 47 political parties, 32 supported simultaneous elections, it added.

It mentioned that in response to a public notice published in newspapers in all states and Union territories, 21,558 responses were received from citizens, 80% of whom supported simultaneous elections.

Law experts, including four former Chief Justices of India and twelve former Chief Justices of major High Courts, four former Chief Election Commissioners of India, eight State Election Commissioners, and Chairman, Law Commission of India were invited by the committee for interaction in person. Views of the Election Commission of India were also sought.

Apex business organizations like the CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and eminent economists were also consulted to present their views on the economic repercussions of asynchronous elections, the release said.

For detailed report click here:

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