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BJP Delegation Meets 'One Nation One Election' Panel, Backs Proposal

Led by party president J.P. Nadda, a four-member delegation told the Ram Nath Kovind panel that multiple elections affect good governance and development as well as result in corruption.
J.P. Nadda speaking to media after meeting Ram Nath Kovind Panel on One Nation, One Election on February 20, 2024. Photo: X (Twitter)/@JPNadda.

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday, February 20, told the One Nation, One Election committee, chaired by former president Ram Nath Kovind, to synchronise Lok Sabha polls and state assembly elections at least to begin with before local body polls are also clubbed together.

Led by party chief J.P. Nadda, a four-member delegation of the party called on the Kovind panel and submitted a written memorandum favouring simultaneous polls. The party said multiple elections and the Model Code of Conduct affect the delivery of good governance, affecting the development of the country. It also said a lot of wasteful expenditure can be saved by holding elections across the country at once. The party said multiple polls lead to a lot of corruption.

“There is a financial burden on the parties as well and this becomes a reason for corruption. Security forces that are deployed for internal and external security on the border are and again deployed in the states for the elections,” Nadda told the media after meeting the panel.

“We have requested that there should be one photo identity card which is valid for Lok Sabha, State Assembly and panchayat polls. There should be one voter list for Lok Sabha, State Assembly and panchayat. If it can’t be done immediately, then Lok Sabha and Assemblies should be done together and later think of the panchayat (polls). But all panchayat elections should be together, otherwise the MCC will be in force repeatedly. In the long run, the three elections should be together, and for that there should be consensus, amendment to the RP Act and the activities to be taken up after delimitation should be done,” Nadda added.

The BJP is among four political parties that have supported the idea. The others being All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Biju Janata Dal, and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party  (MGP). However, at least eight opposition parties, including the Congress, opposed the idea, stating that such an idea would hurt India’s federalism and democracy.

One Nation, One Election figured in the BJP’s election manifestos of 2014 and 2019. The 2019 manifesto had said the party would work to “build consensus on this issue with all parties”.

The Kovind panel was established by the Union law ministry on September 2 last year to suggest ways to hold elections simultaneously. As a part of its consultations, the committee had in October written to national and state parties seeking their views on simultaneous elections. Since then, it has been meeting political parties to discuss their views.

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