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Amit Shah writes to Law Commission batting for 'One Nation, One Poll', says separate polls drain state's resources

Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah wrote to the Law Commission of India on Monday, advocating for  a 'One Nation, One Poll' and suggested that in a progressive democracy such as India, having separate elections strained the resources of the state.

He wrote that during elections, when the Model Code of Conduct is enforced, development works and policy decisions have to be stopped till the poll is over. Drumming support for the 'One Nation, One Poll' proposal, Shah wrote, "There is no relation between Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Voters vote on different issues in both polls. Therefore, we must have faith and trust the voters."

 Amit Shah writes to Law Commission batting for One Nation, One Poll, says separate polls drain states resources

File image of BJP president Amit Shah. PTI

On Monday, a BJP delegation led by party leader Bhupendra Yadav met with the Law Commission and handed over Shah's letter. "We have notified Law Commission about our party’s support for simultaneous elections in country. It would reduce expenses significantly and the repetitive use of election machinery. Necessary amendments to Constitution should take place," Yadav told ANI.

He also claimed that there are over 9,30,000 poll booths and over one crore workers posted during polls. "Rs 1,600 to Rs 1,700 crore were spent in 2011 polls and Rs 4,000 crore in 2014 polls. One Nation, One Election would reduce the cost. This exercise has been successful in several countries," said Yadav, while speaking to reporters.

Shah's letter comes two days after Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat proposed holding one election a year as an alternative to Centre's push for simultaneous elections. Rawat said that the move would prevent violations of Model Code of Conduct on social media, as the social media platforms can be ordered to not run any poll-related news 48 hours before the elections.

Rawat had highlighted that conducting simultaneous elections will require a huge manpower, especially security forces.

For some months, the issue of holding simultaneous elections across the country has been a raging debate with a stakeholder discussion called for the One Nation, One Poll proposal by the Law Commission of India. The Law Commission and NITI Aayog have often repeated that simultaneous elections are somehow acceptable because "elections to Lok Sabha and all state Legislative Assemblies were held simultaneously between 1951 and 1967".

While the BJP mooted the simultaneous elections proposal, Opposition has repeatedly denounced the Law Commission's agenda. Most Opposition parties flayed the concept of simultaneous elections, terming it as "anti-democratic" and "unconstitutional".

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Updated Date: Aug 13, 2018 15:08:45 IST