PM ON POLL REFORM … One-Nation, One Poll system needs be introduced, reiterates PM Modi


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday revisited the theme of “One Nation One Election” and said time has come for the nation to take this proposal seriously. The PM had rooted for one-nation, one-poll theme during his first term in office, and said Parliament, assembly and local body polls should be held simultaneously, so that much effort and money could be saved.

The PM, addressing 80th presiding officers’ conference, or Speakers’ meet, suggested that the Election Commission prepare a single voters’ list for all elections. Separate voters list, he stressed, is a waste of time.

It is believed from the PM’s tone that he would now take matters forward in this respect without further delay. The BJP has increased its strength in the Rajya Sabha, and the BJP can now manage to get two-third majority in both houses of parliament for passage of Constitution amendment bills like this.

The argument advanced against the unified poll system is that the PM is trying to bring in a presidential system which could undercut the federal structure of the nation in which states are special privileges and authority. Also, how the system can be put in place when different assemblies end their terms at different periods is not clear.

After the Bihar assembly polls, states like Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be heading for elections by May next.

PM Modi had won praise for introduction of a unified market taxation system styled as One Nation, One Tax, by way of passing the GST bill in Lok Sabha and turning them into law without sending it to Rajya Sabha for approval. As the Congress party and its allies went on opposing the bill, for no valid reason, Modi turned it into a finance bill, which did not require approval from Rajya Sabha. IHN-NN


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