Thursday, 5 October 2017

One nation, one poll

  • There is no question that 'One nation, one poll' will save lot of money and grant freedom to elected representatives to behave or misbehave as they like for next five years. But there is much more beyond that. It is something synonymous to 'One nation, one language' and 'One nation, one religion', with very dangerous undercurrents that threatens unity and integrity of India.
  • If Lok Sabha and Assembly elections happen to coincide, it is a natural process. But if it is imposed only to reduce the number of elections and cut costs, it is highly undesirable, because it privileges monetary concerns over democratic principles.
  • Frequent elections provide momentary employment, boost domestic consumption, as also prevent transfer of power to a single entity due to a popularity surge that could help annexe both the state and central rule through the dual election filter.
  • There is a provision in the Model Code of Conduct for the government to consult the Election Commission to take any useful policy decisions, without interfering election outcome, which is hardly used by any of the governments for political reasons.
  • The slogan “one country, one election” is misleading. The Constitution recognises the existence of 29 States which have a constitutional status of their own in matters of elections and government formation. But this slogan deprives both centre and states to go in for mid term polls even for genuine and valid reasons.
  • The seeming intention is to force all states, and all local bodies & panchayats, not only seems impractical but also a step in the direction of moving the country towards becoming a unitary state rather than a federal one that the constitution envisages.
  • If in a state election, result is hung, definitely president's rule can't be imposed for next 5 years since next elections are that much far away and no chance for mid term polls. If that state goes to mid term poll, the new elected state assembly will have truncated term of less than 5 years till the date next general election. This is gross violation of constitutional provisions which is undesirable.
  • There would be no interim option to overthrow if the incumbent under performed, as voter power is limited to being king-for-a-day in the lustrum. On flip side, frequent elections or bye polls deter the incumbent ruling parties from under performance and misbehavior.
  • The issues influencing voting pattern for parliament, assembly and local body elections are vastly different and simultaneous polls will only blur the issues and the party having advantage in national arena also gets voted in state & local body elections which is fundamentally misleading & undemocratic.
  • If simultaneous elections were to become a reality, it would go against the political diversity which is essential for addressing the social diversity of India.
  • The total cost saving of about Rs.10,000 crores, once in 5 years, for central government with an annual budget of over Rs.20,00,000 crores is not a problem at all.
  • Like earlier Modi's adventures, this one too might not work for Modi simply because the intention is not for doing any public good but is for narrow minded self aggrandizement. 

In a democracy, every issue has far reaching effects and unintended consequences that hurts lower classes most. Nothing can make a rich man bankrupt or a beggar. Demonetization and GST hurt the poorest most. Rich will sustain just by spending some bucks. By oath PM Modi must rule the nation within the framework of constitution and existing laws. During first two years, he went on roaming the world delivering passionate speeches and our economy was reasonably good. He initiated reforms with selfish intention of 'name & fame' and the nation plunged into economic distress and there is no way it can be halted. He would have done a great service to nation had he not done anything in the past three years. Anyone, including Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh, will do better than Modi. That is what Modi has proved to the nation in the past three plus years in no uncertain terms.

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