One Nation, One Election only after consensus: BJP leader

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BJP National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav addresses a press conference.
BJP National General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav addresses a press conference.

BJP national general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav has ruled out the possibility of making a law for ‘One Nation, One Election’ at present, saying it will be implemented only after mutual consent among all political parties.

Counting several benefits from simultaneous elections in the country, he said that this will speed up the development plans of the country and the states. Repeated elections and related code of conduct will not hinder development and the simultaneous elections will also curb black money.

Addressing a group of intellectuals in a webinar organised by BJP’s national media Co-in-charge and spokesperson Dr. Sanjay Mayukh on Sunday, Bhupendra Yadav said One Nation-One election is not a new thing. The first Lok Sabha election of Independent India was also held on the same lines. Elections of 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967 have been held on this concept. Will it be easy to persuade political parties for simultaneous elections? Replying to this question of IANS, Yadav said that there have been discussions with political parties on two-three levels. The report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee has come, which was chaired by the Congress MP. It included MPs from several parties.

Yadav said, “The report given by the Law Commission under the leadership of B.S. Chauhan was also put forth by the political parties. There will be an attempt to remove any disagreement. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all the reforms including GST, 10 per cent reservation on economic basis, labour reforms were done after consensus among all parties. We are active in this direction and will negotiate with political parties and agree to elect them together.”

Modi has discussed One Nation, One Election on several occasions. In such a situation, such programmes are being organised to prepare a national consensus on the issue of ‘one nation, one election’ under the election reform campaign by the BJP. In this webinar organized in this connection, Yadav said an attempt would also be made to overcome the objections of the opposition against the One Nation, One Election.

He said that in the absence of funds in the event of simultaneous elections, the possibility of regional parties falling behind the national parties in campaigning is meaningless. Instead, frequent elections place a greater economic burden on the regional parties.

He cited the example of Odisha and Telangana Assembly elections held last year along with the Lok Sabha elections, dismissing the possibility of loss of regional parties due to national issues dominating the elections simultaneously. It is said that voters in both the states preferred the BJP for the Lok Sabha, while for the Assembly, the Biju Janata Dal and TRS candidates respectively. Similarly, the BJP was the first choice of voters in the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand, but in the Assembly elections held four months later, they preferred the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.

Yadav said the states will not have to face repeated codes of conduct due to simultaneous elections. Political stability will come. He said that in 2018, the Standing Committee of Parliament had also prepared a report on this issue in which it had many advantages.

Yadav said that the Election Commission had officially suggested it in 1983. The Law Commission had also advocated One Nation, One Election in the year 1999. In December 2015, on the report ‘Feasibility of holding simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies’, the Parliament’s Standing Committee recommended adopting an alternative and practical way of holding simultaneous elections.

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