From the past few years, India has seen elections very frequently in some states of the country. It might be because of the passing-away of politicians or because of the resignations from the legislatures. Whatever might be the reasons, the taxpayers’ money has gone wasted in multiple elections at the wrong time.
Whenever an election happens, the state or central government and Election Commission of India has to engage their resources, provide the workforce to conduct elections in those areas. A lot of money is needed to organize one election. So, the BJP led NDA government is thinking to go with “One Nation, One Election” system to ease out the election procedure and save governments and taxpayers money.
What is “One Nation, One Election” system?
In India, both General elections for Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections will be held in a gap of five years. Apart from this, some of the state assembly elections happen separately. It will put a significant burden on the government’s national treasury. So, one election in the whole country in a gap of five years saves time, money, government’s resources and many more.
“One Nation, One Election” history in India
The concept of “One Nation, One Election” is not new to India. The simultaneous elections for both Lok Sabha and State Assemblies were conducted in India in 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967.
The practice of conducting one election in the country was discontinued from 1968-69 because some of the legislative assemblies were dissolved for various reasons. Another reason being, many regional parties have started to contest in elections.
Let us understand the advantages of “One Nation, One Election.”
- Saving of government and taxpayers money – The biggest advantage of conducting one election in the country is the saving of government and taxpayers money. 31 State Legislative Assemblies including Delhi and Puducherry consists of 4,120 MLAs in the country. If India goes for one election, then the expenditure for election comes around ₹11 billion. Currently, about 5 states go for polls every year.
- There’s no harm for development works – During the time of elections Model Code of Conduct will be in place. So, all the government’s developmental works would be stopped until the elections got over. Inauguration of new projects would be checked. One election across the country would ensure the continuity of projects and could meet the deadlines quickly.
- Helps to neutralize black money – For politicians and bureaucrats, elections are the medium to convert black money into white money. If there are multiple elections in the country for the whole year, then there’s no way to neutralize the parallel economy circulation in India and cannot stop the economic offenders.
- Improves the efficiency of the government’s machinery – Government and Election Commission of India needs to provide the human resources and machinery to conduct fair elections in the country and states. If there’s one election in the country then, machinery will have less work, and thus the life span of machinery will increase, and schools, colleges and government offices will work properly which makes the general public life happier.
- Government’s efficiency increases – If there are no simultaneous elections every year, then, the government will not have to worry about caste and religion politics to woo their voters. The government can efficiently take tough decisions in terms of national security, developmental projects and other factors which help in the economic development of the country.
Though it is tough to conduct one election across the country simultaneously, it is possible with some constitutional amendments. Regional parties will have to agree for a new system. Also, there’s a colossal preparation to conduct one election is required for the government. But, there are countries like Sweden, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa, Poland, Hungary, Spain, South Africa, Belgium, Albania and Slovenia which are already conducting simultaneous elections. It is good if it happens in India. Let us hope.