A committee to assess the feasibility of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies set political parties abuzz on Friday as the Opposition targeted the BJP saying it was trying to distract from more pressing issues and the ruling party and its allies defended the proposal.
“India is the mother of democracy and our democracy is a mature democracy. There has been a long and rich tradition of discussing subjects related to the interests of the country. Right now only a committee has been constituted to discuss the topic of ‘One nation, One election’ and to know the opinion of the people. The agenda for the upcoming special session of Parliament will be shared with the nation soon,” Union Minister Pralhad Joshi tweeted even as BJP president J P Nadda visited former President Ram Nath Kovind who is likely to head the committee.
“The BJP wants to change the country’s history. Our aim is to strengthen the country and ensure welfare of all sections of society. We are moving expeditiously. Elections (to Lok Sabha) can be held early and we have to be alert,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in Mumbai, where the two-day INDIA conclave came to an end.
“It is unprecedented for a former President to be brought in for political perspective for such a committee,” Maharashtra Congress leader Naseem Khan said on the possibility of Kovind heading the committee.
His party colleague and MP from Uttar Pradesh Pramod Tiwari said, “I am seeing this for the first time that a former President has been made chairman of a committee formed by govt. Former Chief Justice and former SC judges could have done it. They finished the dignity of the post of President as the inauguration (of the new Parliament building) was done by the PM instead of the President. Now by doing this, they are setting a wrong tradition…”
In a video message, AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “Shocked to see 28 parties gathered in the INDIA alliance, the promise of ‘One Nation, One Election’ has been left to mislead the country, because before doing this you will have to discuss in the whole country. People’s attention should be diverted from Hindenburg, new narrative should come in the media, for that it has been brought.”
“We have reservations about it because it not only weakens the federal structure of the country but it also harms the interest of the regional political party. For a broader answer to this, we will wait for the Kovind committee report … It has so many aspects to it, let it take the shape of a bill then we will be in a position to give a clearer & broader answer to it…,” said National Conference leader Tanvir Sadiq.
भारत लोकतंत्र की जननी है और हमारा लोकतंत्र एक परिपक्व लोकतंत्र है। यहां देश हित से जुड़े विषयों पर चर्चा करने की लंबी और समृद्ध परंपरा रही है।
‘One nation, One election’ के विषय पर चर्चा करने और लोगों की राय जानने के लिए अभी सिर्फ एक कमेटी का गठन किया गया है।
संसद के आगामी विशेष… pic.twitter.com/8sPdbzC6lM
— Pralhad Joshi (@JoshiPralhad) September 1, 2023
VIDEO | “It is unprecedented for a former President to be brought in for political perspective for such a committee,” says Congress leader @naseemkhaninc on reports of Centre forming a committee under former President Ram Nath Kovind to explore the possibility of ‘one nation one… pic.twitter.com/1sNazB8X8l
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 1, 2023
INDIA Alliance में 28 पार्टियों को इकट्ठा देख बौखलाकर, One Nation One Election का शगूफा देश को भटकाने के लिए छोड़ा गया है, क्योंकि ये करने से पहले आपको पूरे देश में विचार विमर्श करना पड़ेगा
Hindenburg से लोगों का ध्यान हट जाए, Media में नया Narrative आ जाए, उसके लिए ये लाया गया… pic.twitter.com/MQaiawiHWn
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) September 1, 2023
The government’s announcement was welcomed by Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states such as Manohar Lal Khattar, Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Yogi Adityhanath. “Today, PM Narendra Modi has taken a very landmark decision by appointing a commission to look after the issue of ‘One Nation, One Election’. I am very happy that a person of the stature of Ram Nath Kovind Nath has accepted the offer. Multiple elections involve lots of money and because every time India is in election mode development suffers a lot,” Sarma told reporters.
“It is a pleasure to know that a committee has been formed for ‘One Nation, One Election’ under the chairmanship of former president Ram Nath Kovind. On behalf of the people of Uttar Pradesh, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this innovative initiative,” Adityanath was quoted as saying in a statement.
लोकतंत्र की समृद्धि और स्थिरता हेतु One Nation-One Election के लिए यह अभिनंदनीय पहल है… pic.twitter.com/18S6oeW2b1
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) September 1, 2023
TIPRA Motha founder Pradyot Debbarma, whose outfit is the primary Opposition party in the Northeastern state, backed the BJP. “I agree that we should have all elections together because from my experience everything comes to a halt whenever there is an election. Development is stopped for schemes that will ensure short-term vote gain and continuous elections throughout the 5 years actually ensures that we stop talking to our opponents and there is bitterness within societies especially workers. And so much resources can be saved if we have one nation one election. I support this!”
I agree that we should have all elections together because from my experience everything comes to a halt whenever there is an election . Development is stopped for schemes which will ensure short term vote gain and continuous elections throughout the 5 years actually ensures that…
— Pradyot_Tripura (@PradyotManikya) September 1, 2023
Meanwhile, the BJP’s official account on X took a dig at Nitish Kumar, posting, “Nitish Kumar has declared that he doesn’t want to be prime minister. Really?” It tweeted a morphed poster of the latest Christopher Nolan movie Oppenheimer, labelling Kumar as “Hoppenheimer”. The riveting story of a chief minister who switched sides five times to keep his chair,” the BJP wrote on the poster.
Like the Congress and other Opposition parties, the Janata Dal (United) posted video clips from the INDIA conclave in Mumbai. “Those who are in power at the Centre, they will lose,” the JD(U) wrote, posting a video clip of Nitish Kumar’s speech in Mumbai.
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