'One nation, one poll' panel at work; officials brief Ram Nath Kovind : The Tribune India

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'One nation, one poll' panel at work; officials brief Ram Nath Kovind

'One nation, one poll' panel at work; officials brief Ram Nath Kovind

'One nation, one poll' panel at work; officials brief Ram Nath Kovind



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 3

A day after the Centre notified an eight-member high-level committee to explore the possibility of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state Assemblies, municipalities and panchayats across India, senior Law Ministry officials on Sunday held a preparatory briefing for the committee’s chairman, former president Ram Nath Kovind.

Law Secretary Niten Chandra, Legislative Secretary Reeta Vasishta and others reportedly met Kovind this afternoon to understand how he would like to go about the terms of reference of the committee, sources privy to the development said.

Chandra is the secretary to the high-level committee, while Vasishta’s department deals with elections, the Representation of the People Act and related rules which were included in the committee’s terms of reference.

The other seven members of the committee are: Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, noted jurist Harish Salve, former Finance Commission Chairman NK Singh, former Lok Sabha Secretary General and constitutional expert Subhash C Kashyap and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari, a resolution issued by the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice said.

Minister of State for Law (Independent Charge) Arjun Ram Meghwal shall attend the meetings of the committee as a special invitee.

The panel has been asked to commence functioning immediately and make recommendations at the earliest.

It has been mandated to “examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state Legislative Assemblies, municipalities and panchayats “keeping in view the existing framework under the Constitution and other statutory provisions, and for that purpose, examine and recommend specific amendments to the Constitution, the Representation of the People Act, 1950, the Representation of People Act, 1951, and the rules made thereunder and any other law of rules which would require amendments for the purpose of holding simultaneous elections.”

It has been asked to examine and recommend if the amendments to the Constitution will require ratification by the states and examine the logistics and manpower required, including EVMs and VVPATs, for holding such simultaneous elections.

The committee will also “analyse and recommend” a possible solution in a scenario of simultaneous elections emerging out of a hung House, adoption of a no-confidence motion or defection or any such other event, the notification read.

Elections to the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies were mostly held simultaneously from 1951-52 to 1967 after which this cycle got broken and now, elections are held almost every year and within a year too at different times, which result in massive expenditure by the government and other stakeholders.

Asynchronous elections lead to diversion of security forces and other electoral officers from their primary duties for significantly prolonged periods, the resolution said.

Law ministry officials meet ex-Prez

  • Law Secretary Niten Chandra, Legislative Secretary Reeta Vasishta and others met Kovind to understand how he would like to go about the terms of reference of the panel
  • The committee has been asked to examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, Assemblies, municipalities and panchayats

Attack on union of states: Cong

India, that is Bharat, is a union of states. The idea of ‘one nation, one election’ is an attack on the union of all states. — Rahul Gandhi, Cong leader

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