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Sumitra Mahajan bats for Narendra Modi’s one nation, one election plan

 Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan being welcomed by Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, centre, and Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rajiv Bindal in Shimla.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan being welcomed by Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, centre, and Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rajiv Bindal in Shimla.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday favoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the country, saying that time and again the election code of conduct hampers development.

Ms. Mahajan was speaking at the conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Region-IV here, attended by Vidhan Sabha Speakers, Deputy Speakers and legislators from Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat, and host Himachal Pradesh.

“We are just sharing our views to take our concerns forward. We are not here to take any decision,” she said.

“India had earlier followed the system of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas. We need to ponder over the issue. In the midst of elections one after another in the country, the election code of conduct normally hampers the development process and schemes get stuck,” she said, adding, “In the process, much money is also spent”.

Ms. Mahajan said that only after proper debate, and taking into consideration all issues, including Constitutional aspects, the country would have to take a decision.

“The idea of ‘one nation, one election’ would undoubtedly save money and time, but the Constitutional hurdles in its way need to be addressed first,” she said.

Jammu & Kashmir Speaker Nirmal Singh favoured consensus. Gujarat Speaker Rajendra Suryaprasad Trivedi said simultaneous elections would not only save money, but also time.

‘Disturbs education’

“Every time, teachers are put on election duty, which disturbs the education system. We can avoid that, as well as frequent deployment of security forces, in the case of one-nation, one-election [system],” he said.

Haryana Speaker Kanwar Pal said the election of different bodies continues for five years, and public representatives don’t get enough time to perform.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said ‘one nation, one election’ is the need of the hour, adding, “The country has done the required debate and we must take the step forward now.”

Congress leader and the State’s Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said it would be, “Unconstitutional and impractical to hold simultaneous polls. We can neither change the time of the Assemblies, nor decrease them. It will be against the spirit of the Constitution.”


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 5:24:18 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sumitra-mahajan-bats-for-narendra-modis-one-nation-one-election-plan/article25017007.ece