One Nation, One Election: What is ‘One Nation.. One Election’?

-Galla S Kiran Kumar,Bureau Chief Telagana (Andhra Pradesh)

The Government of India is preparing to bring key changes in the conduct of elections. For this, a committee has been formed to look into ‘One Nation-One Election’. But, giving it the stamp of approval is not an easy task.


Internet Desk: About a fortnight before the special session of the Parliament, the central government has taken a very important decision. A committee headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind has been formed to examine the feasibility of ‘One Nation, One Election’. In fact, this type of election was held in the past, but changes took place due to various reasons. 

What are Jamili elections..?

Its aim is to hold elections simultaneously across the country. It means holding Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly election voting at the same time. At present, separate elections are being held for the Legislative Assemblies and the Parliament. This time, there is a strong campaign in the media that there is a possibility of introducing the ‘One Country-One Election’ bill in the special session of the Parliament to be held between September 18-22. In fact, Modi has been talking about this since he first took office as Prime Minister.

In order to pass this bill, there is a need to amend the constitution. At least 67 percent of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha should vote in favor of these amendments. In addition, 67 percent of the 245 seats in the Rajya Sabha should support it. In addition to this, at least half of the state assemblies of the country must give their stamp of approval. That means 14 states will have to stand in favor of this bill.

Currently BJP is in power in 10 states.. parties supporting it are ruling in 6 more states. NDA has a strength of around 333 votes in the Lok Sabha. It is equal to 61 percent. It will find it difficult to garner another 5 percent of the vote. There are only 38 percent seats in the Rajya Sabha.

Why combined elections?

For the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, the central government has allocated Rs. 10,000 crores are estimated to have been spent. At the same time, the government is spending Rs.250 crore to Rs.500 crore for each state election. If the cost of political parties is added to this cost, the eyes will roll. An organization called Center for Media Studies revealed at that time that the expenditure of the respective parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was up to Rs.60 thousand crores. It was the costliest election in the history of India. There is an argument that the government and political parties will share this cost.

  • Apart from this, there is an opportunity to use the government machinery effectively. If general officials are on electoral duty, governance will slow down. That is why central and state government elections are held simultaneously.. time is saved and they get an opportunity to focus on governance.
  • The chances of obstacles in implementing the policies and schemes of the central and state governments are often reduced in the form of election codes. Apart from this, there is no possibility of postponement of the start of new projects due to the Election Code.
  • Due to Jamili elections, all types of voting are held at the same time which is convenient for the voters. As a result, the polling percentage will increase, the Law Commission said. 

There are problems..

Constitutional amendments will have to be made to allow the assembly elections to be held along with the Lok Sabha elections. Other parliamentary procedures, including the Representation of the People Act, will have to be amended. The consent of the states is also very necessary for this.

  • The parties fear that the role of local elements will diminish if the national elements occupy a large part of the campaign due to the Jamili elections. This fear is especially high among local parties. There are doubts that local parties will have to compete with national parties even in election expenses.
  • According to a survey conducted in 2015, if Jamili elections are held, 77 percent of people are likely to choose a single party or alliance. It has been found that if the same Assembly and Parliament elections are held six months apart, the chances of electing the same party will decrease to 61 percent. 

Even if it happened in the past..

Until 1967, elections were held simultaneously for the central and state governments. But, with the dissolution of some state assemblies and the dissolution of the Lok Sabha a year before in 1970, this policy could not be continued. In 1983, the Election Commission once again brought up Jamili’s election proposal. But, at that time the government was not interested. The Law Commission report in 1999 raised this once again. In 2016, Prime Minister Modi once again proposed this idea. The next year, NITI Aayog did an exercise on this. In 2019, the Prime Minister arranged a meeting with the leaders of various parties on this issue.. Many parties, including the Congress, stayed away from it. Only a few parties sent representatives.

  • CEC Sushil Chandra announced that they are ready to conduct Jamili elections in 2022. The commission has invited views of various parties, EC, officials, academics and experts on this type of election in December 2022