What Is ‘One Nation, One Election?
The Centre has clarified that it is not planning on amending the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to enable a common electoral roll and simultaneous elections to all electoral bodies in the country.
- This is because many concerns have been expressed against them and there has been no consensus yet on the matter.
- While the Centre may not be planning to amend the Representation of the People Act, it has held meetings with various stakeholders, including the EC, on the possibility of States adopting the same electoral roll for local body polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken in favour of “one nation, one election” many times.
- ‘One Nation, One Election refers to holding elections to Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, Panchayats and Urban local bodies simultaneously, once in five years.
- Under the Common Electoral Roll, only one voter list will be used for Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and other elections.
- In many states, the voters’ list for the panchayat and municipality elections is different from the one used for Parliament and Assembly elections.
- The distinction stems from the fact that the supervision and conduct of elections in our country are entrusted with two constitutional authorities — the Election Commission (EC) of India and the State Election Commissions (SECs).
- The preparation of a separate voters list causes duplication of the effort and the expenditure.
- Therefore, a common electoral roll and simultaneous elections as a way to save an enormous amount of effort and expenditure.