Simultaneous elections will bolster democratic structure: Shah to Law Panel

Simultaneous elections will bolster democratic structure: Shah to Law Panel
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New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) National President Amit Shah on Monday wrote a detailed letter to Law Commission Chairman Balbir Singh Chauhan, presenting the thorough views of his party on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country.

In the eight-page letter, Shah opines that implementation of model code of conduct acts as a hindrance in government’s developmental work; the letter cites the example of the state of Maharashtra, stating that at least one part of the state was under model code of conduct for 307 days in the year 2016-17. It also states that different political parties indulge in public appeasement as soon as dates for elections are announced, which deviates the process of decision making.

Taking an example from history Shah wrote, “In the year 1951-52, despite prevailing issues, the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections were conducted simultaneously. The process was successfully repeated in the years 1957, 1962 and 1967. Hence one thing is clear that execution of ‘one nation, one election’ was done during 1952 general assembly elections itself”.

The BJP president also touches upon the challenges that implementation of ‘one nation, one election’ may face and enlists certain constitutional provisions that may need to be revisited in this regard.

Amit Shah refurbished opposition’s claims that the Indian voter is not fully aware in terms of simultaneously considering national and state issues while voting. Shah punctures the claim by saying that the Indian voter is mature enough, “This point of criticism is completely baseless as every Indian citizen with above 18 years of age has the right to be registered as a voter. The Indian voter is not only mature enough to differentiate between issues but to also resolve them,” he added.

Shah states that simultaneous elections will bolster the federal structure of the country, “Some critics say that simultaneous elections will weaken the federal and democratic structure of India, this is a an unclear and baseless logic. Rather, simultaneous elections will aid government’s stability, in turn strengthening India’s federal structure,” the letter reads.

The BJP President has stated that his party is willing to suggest a comprehensive structure to achieve the aim of ‘one nation, one election’. He further states that this structure is open to being debated about in the public sphere and suggested political parties and relevant stakeholders to contribute to it.

Calling the criticism against the move ‘politically motivated and inappropriate,’ Shah stated that, “Keeping in mind public welfare, the Election Commission has been given the right to take such decisions, which may cause short-term inconvenience, but will certainly benefit the country in the long run.”

Shah reiterated that simultaneous elections will help elected governments work towards development, rather than focusing on elections. (ANI)