Kovind-led panel to invite political parties for their views on simultaneous elections

Despite Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opting out, a Law Ministry press release notes his absence

Updated - September 23, 2023 10:35 pm IST

Published - September 23, 2023 07:41 pm IST - New Delhi

Former President of India Ram Nath Kovind chaired the first High Level Committee meeting on One Nation One Election at Jodhpur House, in New Delhi, on September 23.

Former President of India Ram Nath Kovind chaired the first High Level Committee meeting on One Nation One Election at Jodhpur House, in New Delhi, on September 23. | Photo Credit: ANI

The high-level committee, headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind, to examine the possibility of simultaneous elections held its first meeting on Saturday and decided to invite national and regional political parties to submit their views and suggestions on the issue.

Home Minister Amit Shah, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and former Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad were among those who attended the meeting, said a statement of the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The press statement also said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha, didn’t attend.

Also read: Explained | What is the debate around ‘one nation, one election’?

The high-level panel was constituted by the Narendra Modi government on September 2, in which Mr. Chowdhury was named as member.

However, in a letter to Mr. Shah, he declined to join the committee and said, “I have no hesitation whatsoever in declining to serve on the committee whose terms of reference have been prepared in a manner to guarantee its conclusions.”

The first meeting of the committee was to prepare an action plan and discuss holding consultations with stakeholders. Preparation of working papers and research on the subject for an in-depth discussion were also on the agenda of the meeting.

Also Read | One Nation, One Election: Do States get a say in constitutional amendments? | Explained 

“Outlining the modalities of working of the Committee, the Committee decided to invite recognised National Political Parties, Political Parties having Government in States, Political Parties having their representatives in Parliament, other recognised State Political Parties for seeking suggestions/view points on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country,” the Law Ministry said in the statement.

“In addition, the Committee will also invite Law Commission of India to make their suggestions/view points on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country,” it added.

The decision to invite political parties is significant as several parties have expressed their opposition, with the Congress categorically rejecting the idea.

Also Read | Why ‘one nation, one election’ would strike a blow against federalism | Data 

Many regional parties have also stated that if Assembly and national elections are held together, atop all parties may have an advantage.

First mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has argued that it will save thousands of crores by not holding elections every year and that development will continue unhindered by the model code of conduct coming into force frequently.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.