Prashant Kishor, the eminent election strategist renowned for his pivotal role in steering the Trinamool Congress to victory against the Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal, has proffered conditional support for the “one nation, one election” proposition. He cautiously acknowledges its potential benefits “in the interest of the country… if done with correct intentions.” In his discerning analysis, Kishor underscores the prospects of reduced electoral expenditures and diminished voter fatigue with the implementation of a singular electoral event.
He further underscores the perils of abrupt transitions, alluding to the speculation surrounding the BJP’s intentions to synchronize the 2024 general election with imminent state polls. Kishor avers, “If done with correct intentions, and there (is) a transition phase of four to five years, then it is in the interest of the country.”
The debate surrounding “one nation, one election” remains contentious, with opposition parties like the Congress voicing concerns about its potential implications. Rahul Gandhi, a prominent Congress MP, has characterized this idea as an assault on the unity of India.
The recent formation of a committee, chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind, to examine the feasibility of concurrent central and state elections adds to the intrigue. It is worth noting that conducting simultaneous polls was the norm in India until 1967, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that frequent elections strain the nation’s resources and disrupt governance.
The committee’s mandate encompasses recommending constitutional amendments, evaluating the Representation of the People Act, and ascertaining the legalities of holding simultaneous elections at various levels of government. The path to realizing “one nation, one election” is laden with complexities, requiring rigorous scrutiny of both its benefits and potential pitfalls.