Elections are held in some state or the other in the country almost all the time. Those who support ‘one nation, one election’ argue that the model code of conduct comes in the way of the government announcing projects or policy plans.
If elections are held frequently throughout the year, there is always a possibility of a parallel economy flourishing in the country.
Several parliamentary and CBI reports along with Election Commission reports have stated that huge amounts of black money are converted into white money during elections in the country.
A one-time election can effectively reduce such a possibility.
Keep in mind that a committee was formed by the Central Government regarding simultaneous elections in the country.
On September 23, the panel headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind held its first meeting.
It is also being said that the Law Commission is working on the formula of holding simultaneous elections for all the Legislative Assemblies along with the Lok Sabha from 2029 by increasing or reducing the tenure of the existing Assemblies.
However, there is no fixed time limit for submitting the report on this. Holding simultaneous elections is an issue that has been considered by law commissions and parliamentary committees in the past.
Some political parties argue that voters will vote on national issues even in state elections and this could lead to larger national parties winning both state and Lok Sabha elections, thereby marginalizing regional parties.
In 2018, the 21st Law Commission headed by Justice BS Chauhan had also recommended ‘one nation, one election’ in a draft report.
The first general elections to the Lok Sabha and all state assemblies were held simultaneously in 1951–52.
This practice continued in the three subsequent general elections held in the years 1957, 1962 and 1967.
This cycle was interrupted by the premature dissolution of some legislative assemblies in 1968 and 1969.
The Lok Sabha was prematurely dissolved in 1970 and new elections were held in 1971.
Simultaneous elections across the country is a good idea but realizing the idea will require not only mutual consent and political consensus but also a strong determination to act in the larger national interest.
The government should work with all stakeholders to come up with effective solutions to the issues that are being raised.