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‘One Nation, One Election’ a front to legitimise buying of MLAs by BJP: AAP

AAP has submitted a report to the Law Commission of India, which had invited suggestions from people and parties on holding simultaneous polls

January 24, 2023 01:21 am | Updated January 26, 2023 10:13 am IST - New Delhi 

AAP leader Atishi. Most opposition parties, including AAP, have protested against the idea of simultaneous elections. 

AAP leader Atishi. Most opposition parties, including AAP, have protested against the idea of simultaneous elections.  | Photo Credit: File

Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday called the proposed ‘One Nation, One Election’ unconstitutional and against the idea of democracy. Addressing a press conference, the party also shared a submission it had made to the Law Commission of India, opposing the move.

The proposal for holding Lok Sabha and various State Assembly polls simultaneously is an idea often pushed by the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, most opposition parties, including AAP, have protested against the idea of simultaneous elections.

AAP leader Atishi said the constitutional amendments proposed to achieve simultaneous General and Assembly elections under ‘One Nation, One Election’ plan were an attack on the basic structure of the Constitution.

“The most dangerous thing is that, if no one gets a majority [in case of One Nation, One Election], how would the chief minister be elected? Without anti-defection laws, a Chief Minister will be elected, just like a Speaker’s election. This means any party’s MLAs can vote for any party. One Nation, One Election is a front to legitimise ‘Operation Lotus’ and legalise sale and purchase of MLAs,” she said.

She said the proposal calls for elections for states and the Lok Sabha to be held simultaneously only once in five years. In 2018, the Law Commission analysed the idea and brought out a 175-page report supporting it and in December 2022, the Commission shared the report with stakeholders and political parties seeking their views on it, she said.

“The Aam Aadmi Party has submitted a 12-page reply highlighting its concerns against the proposal. There are several parts of the proposal that lack any basis of principle,” she said.

She said if elections are held simultaneously then state-related issues will get absolved from the public discourse and would only help the resource-rich parties and those with the national status to compete and campaign in every state of the country at the same time.

“It will cause a dilemma in the minds of the voters as well. There are patterns that indicate that various sections of the society vote for two completely different parties in the state and Lok Sabha elections,” she added.

AAP leader Jasmine Shah said, “It is very worrying that since the BJP came to power at the Centre, the blatant buying and selling of MLAs has already been almost legitimised through their ‘Operation Lotus’. Now with the ‘One Nation, One Election’ proposal, they are aiming to legally allow and encourage this through the constitutional stamp of approval.”

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