Left parties oppose ‘one nation, one poll’

‘It’s against the principle of federalism’

June 17, 2019 09:44 pm | Updated 09:44 pm IST - New Delhi

CPI leader D. Raja.

CPI leader D. Raja.

Left parties have opposed the idea of ‘one nation, one election’ proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling it undemocratic and against the principle of federalism.

Mr. Modi has called a meeting of the presidents of all political parties to discuss the idea on June 19. In his previous term too he had floated the idea though this is the first time he is holding a formal consultation with other parties.

S. Ramachandran Pillai of the CPI(M) said that not only was the idea impractical but it also subverted the people’s mandate and democratic right. “If an elected state government loses power due to change in political equations then under ‘one election’ formula the same government will continue or President’s rule will be imposed. It is against the very value of federalism,” Mr. Pillai said. The one-election formula, Mr. Pillai said, was also a way to impose the rule of the party that is ruling at the Centre.

The CPI (M) had argued this very points to Law Commission which brought out its report on the subject in August 2018.

CPI leader D. Raja said that the suggestion was ominous. “This suggestion is merely an extension of the syndrome the BJP wants to impose of one nation-one culture-one nation-one language,” he said.

He said it was not only unrealistic but also unconstitutional. “We will have to get rid of the present Constitution. And if the argument for one election is to reduce the election expenditure, then why not push for state funding which also will provide a level playing field to all parties,” Mr. Raja added.

Instead of pushing for “one election” formula there is a need to bring in electoral reforms, he added.

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