Prashant Kishor extended support to “one nation, one election” proposal in “interest of the country” if pursued with “the right intentions." "If done with correct intentions, and there (is) a transition phase of four to five years, then it is in the interest of the country. This was once in effect for 17-18 years” he said.
Poll strategist for PM Narendra Modi’s BJP and several other parties, Kishor cited reduced costs and fatigue to voters as pertinent benefits of a single poll. "In a country as large as India, around 25 per cent votes every year. So the people running the government remain busy in this circle of elections. If this is limited to one or two times, it will be better. This will cut down expenses and people will take a decision only once…Election' " Kishor added.
He, however, added that “overnight changes” could cause trouble- taking a dig at the BJP, speculated to advance the 2024 general elections to coincide with state polls later this year.
"(But) if you attempt an overnight transition, there will be issues. The government is perhaps bringing a bill. Let it come. If the government has good intentions, it should happen and it will be good for the country," Kishor stated in a video posted by ANI.
The contested proposal has gained support and revolt, as Kishor’s contingent support came in when opposition criticised the BJP on the issue. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi called the idea an attack on the Union of India.
The One Nation, One Election Plan
A committee headed by former President Of India Ram Nath Kovind had gathered, on Friday, to examine the feasibility of holding centre and state elections together. It will suggest specific amendments to the Constitution to ensure the legality of simultaneous elections. It will also look into the viability of holding central, state, municipality and panchayat elections at the same time.
This followed shortly after the government called for a special session of Parliament this month. The sudden call for a special session has fanned rumours that it aims to discuss the BJP’s plan to call for a general election later this year when some states are also in the voting cycle. However, there has been no confirmation on the government’s agenda for the session, yet.
Although simultaneous polls was in fashion till 1967 and four elections followed this trend, the practice came to a halt after some state assemblies were dissolved prematurely. The Lok Sabha was also dissolved a year ahead of schedule in 1970.
PM Modi had earlier made an argument that holding elections every few months put great burden on the country’s resources and interrupts governance. BJP had vowed to make “One Nation, One Election” a reality.