As we are all aware that India is always in election mode and the entire process consumes a lot of time and resources. This not only affects governance but also developmental works. In order to save India from this vicious cycle of election, PM Modi pitched an idea of ‘One Nation, One Election’, which means elections to Lok Sabha, Legislative Assemblies of 29 states and 2 union territories would be conducted in one go. The idea ‘One Nation One election’ has been a dream of PM Modi.
Prime Minister Modi pushed for it and got the official backing of Uttar Pradesh, which sends maximum members to the Lok Sabha. Regarding this proposal Yogi Adityanath said, “We constituted a team of experts under the leadership of Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh and asked them about the possibility of one election along with one voters list and linking the list with Aadhaar cards so that everyone who turns 18 gets automatically added”. The report has suggested that cut off dates should be issued for the state assemblies for conducting simultaneous elections. The first cut-off date suggested is December 2021 which means all the states whose term is going to get over by then can go for the simultaneous poll along with May 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The second cut-off suggested for the remaining state assemblies is 2024. By 2024, India can have simultaneous elections. In order to achieve this, some states will have shorter tenures, and some will have longer tenures. Though next assembly elections in UP are going to be held in 2022 it has been gathered that the Yogi government is willing to go for simultaneous polls along with the Lok Sabha elections in May 2019. This will set a precedence for others to follow.
In the current political climate, PM Modi has found no support from the opposition parties, in fact, they ridiculed him on this idea. Perhaps opposition parties think the stakes will be too high in such a contest, something which they cannot afford.
Till now, Naveen Patnaik is the only statesman in the opposition who openly supported PM Modi’s One Nation One Election dream. He said, “We are elected to work for the people. Elections throughout the year disturb the development works. Therefore, we support simultaneous polls.” He further added, “We support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and assemblies. This will serve the country well.”
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik is the only Chief Minister who despite differences supported PM Modi’s initiative. Naveen Patnaik and his party Biju Janata Dal can be seen as the most constructive and reasonable people in the opposition. He supported the good initiatives taken by the BJP government for the greater good of the nation. He kept personal and political differences aside. His recent initiative for hockey in India is also a good example.
Dear PM @narendramodi ji, you will agree with crores of hockey loving fans of our country that Hockey truly deserves to be notified as our National Game. This will be a fitting tribute to our great players & inspire youngsters #HockeyForNationalGame 1/4 https://t.co/oTGcrHxO9U pic.twitter.com/X7E7jrlWOo
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) June 20, 2018
This move by Naveen Patnaik is commendable. He has the basic decency to come out and support a good initiative, something which the other opposition leaders’ lack. This is how constructive opposition should work. The others have much to learn from him.