Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again floated the idea of a 'one nation, one poll.' While the non-BJP ruled states do not appear in favour of the idea, the issue has been gaining traction.
First and foremost the concept would reduce the burden on the exchequer a great deal. Secondly it makes the job the Election Commission easier. The idea however is not a new one and the Election Commission had spoken about this concept back in 1983 itself.
In May 1999, the Law Commission, then headed by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy had said, ' we need to go back to a situation, where elections to the Lok Sabha and all the Legislative Assemblies are held at once.'
Recently, former Chief Election Commissioner, S Y Qureshi had said in an interview that the from the point of view of the Election Commission, this is the easiest thing to happen. The voter, polling stations and the security needed will all be the same, he had also said.
Benefits of 'One Nation, One Poll'
Reduction in expenditure:
A recent report suggested that the Karnataka Elections 2018 was one of the most expensive elections. Parties spent a whopping Rs 10,500 crore. This does not include the costs of the Prime Minister's campaign, a survey conducted by Centre for Media Studies claimed.
Elections are an expensive affair and several crores of rupees are spent. Having simultaneous polls would reduce the burden on the exchequer a great deal. The cost of security, staff salaries and other expenses would be the same. This would in turn reduce the burden on the exchequer to a large extent.
Not in election mode all the time:
The leaders would spend more time doing work than electioneering. During elections, leaders from all states are automatically involved in the process. The Chief Minister in particular is called in as a star campaigner and ends up spending most of the time electioneering. In case of simultaneous polls, it becomes a one time exercise and all elections end together.
Security is a major issue during an election. Security forces spend a considerable amount of time travelling between states. In case of simultaneous elections, the exercise is completed in one shot. The same security will be deployed for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the states.
The problem with model code of conduct:
The model code of conduct has always been an issue during elections. When a state is going to elections, it has a bearing on the policy of the Central Government as well. Many schemes do not get announced during the period. There has always been a clash on this issue anytime a state has gone to elections.