Thursday, April 25, 2024
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One nation, one poll

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Latest hints are that the ‘One Nation, One Poll’ system could be introduced by 2029, when the further round of the General Elections is scheduled in the normal course. The idea emerged during the first term of the Modi government, it dragged on for many years and could not be implemented for the 2019 and 2024 polls. For one, such a reform cannot be undertaken without a thorough study, which is time consuming. It takes more time in a nation where the leaders’ and babus’ lazy styles ensure things move at a snail’s pace. What can be done in a day would be accomplished in a year’s time. As a result, expenses from the exchequer for such exercises would rise sky-high. Yet, the idea of holding polls in one sweet go across the country for both assemblies and the lower house of parliament is appreciable. It can save money, time and effort at multiple levels.
So many questions naturally crop up. For one, if a government in a state falls midway through its term, a tricky situation arises. The next election can be held only after the end of the five-year term. For this, a proposal under consideration of the national law commission and a panel headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind is to form an all-party government for the rest of the term. Or, a midterm election can be held for that particular state. A question would arise, what of Parliament, if a government falls. The political leadership should sit together, discuss, sort out such issues until some clarity emerges.
Systems need to be changed or reformed for the better. Every system faces wear and tear over a period of time. The systems in this country were set in motion at the start of the post-Independence era some 77 years ago. They have rusted over the years. Vested interests tightened their grip over these systems. Even the system of democracy itself needs a relook. As Indira Gandhi once testified, different nations adopt different forms of democracy. It’s only that the fundamentals – of people’s will shaping their collective destiny – need to be preserved. A leadership with grit and determination can plan and implement reforms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two terms saw fewer attempts at reforms other than that he implemented Manmohan Singh’s idea of a unified market taxation system, the GST.

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