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President Ram Nath Kovind on One Nation, One Election, The Road to a Pioneering Paradigm

In a significant development, the Centre has initiated the formation of a committee led by former President Ram Nath Kovind to delve into the compelling concept of “one nation, one election.” This decision comes on the heels of the government’s announcement of a special session of Parliament slated between September 18 and 22, the precise agenda of which remains undisclosed.

The idea of synchronized Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, popularized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has gained momentum over the years. The appointment of Ram Nath Kovind to lead this exploration underscores the government’s unwavering commitment as the nation approaches a crucial juncture filled with impending elections.

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Ram Nath Kovind, echoing Prime Minister Modi’s vision, expressed his support for this innovative idea soon after assuming the presidency in 2017. He highlighted how frequent elections not only strain human resources but also disrupt the development process due to the imposition of the model code of conduct.

With the Modi government nearing the conclusion of its second term, there’s a growing sentiment among its leadership that this issue cannot be deferred any longer. Decisive action is required to underscore the government’s commitment after years of debate.

For the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), known for its grand themes and ambitious initiatives, this issue serves a dual purpose. It aligns with their political agenda and has the potential to catch the opposition off-guard, injecting a new dynamic into the political landscape.

Currently, assembly elections are scheduled in Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Rajasthan in November-December, followed by the Lok Sabha elections in May-June the following year. However, recent government actions have opened the door to the possibility of advancing these elections.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh are also set to hold elections concurrently with the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP enjoys favorable relationships with the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, despite them not being part of the formal alliance. Arunachal Pradesh is under BJP rule, and Sikkim is governed by an ally.

Additionally, Maharashtra and Haryana, states where the BJP holds power with allies, and Jharkhand, ruled by a JMM-Congress coalition, are slated for elections following the Lok Sabha contest.

The government’s decision to convene a special session of Parliament has ignited speculation about the agenda, including the possibility of dissolving the current Parliament and announcing early Lok Sabha elections. While this can be achieved through a cabinet decision, the special session presents an opportunity for the government to showcase its achievements from the past five years and elucidate the rationale behind simultaneous polls, aligning with scheduled state elections.

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