Milind Deora calls for debate on 'one nation, one election', says Centre must continue attempts to build consensus

Milind Deora called for an inclusive and bipartisan approach to collate perspectives on this issue. 'The government should also invite Indian intelligentsia, academics, organisations working on electoral reforms and students to collectively provide their perspectives on this issue,' Deora said.

Asian News International June 19, 2019 20:54:10 IST
Milind Deora calls for debate on 'one nation, one election', says Centre must continue attempts to build consensus
  • Milind Deora on Wednesday said that the idea of 'one nation, one election' should be given a consideration

  • He said that being in continuous election mode disrupts good governance and distracts politicians from the real issues that need to be addressed

  • His comments came even though his party skipped the all-party meeting convened by Narendra Modi to discuss the issue

New Delhi: Congress leader Milind Deora on Wednesday said that the idea of 'one nation, one election' should be given a consideration, even though his party skipped the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue.

"I am yet to see evidence which suggests that if the election to Vidhan Sabhas is held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections, it will help the party that is in power nationally," he said in a statement.

"Only recently, along with the Lok Sabha elections, the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh elected members to their respective Vidhan Sabhas. Two out of the three states elected parties that are not even in an alliance with the BJP," he added.

"India's 70-year electoral journey has taught us that Indian voters are aware, informed and can differentiate between the state and the Central elections. Our democracy is neither fragile nor immature and the debate of 'one nation, one poll' calls for an open mind on either side of the spectrum," he said.

Milind Deora calls for debate on one nation one election says Centre must continue attempts to build consensus

Congress leader Milind Deora. Image courtesy: PIB

Deora said that being in continuous election mode disrupts good governance and distracts politicians from the real issues that need to be addressed.

"The Union government's proposal to hold simultaneous elections is worthy of debate. We must not forget that until 1967, India conducted simultaneous polls," he said.

"As a former Member of Parliament and someone who has contested four elections, I believe that being in continuous election mode is a roadblock to good governance, distracts politicians from addressing real issues," he added.

Deora, however, said that India needs to outline a singular agenda for its social and economic growth. "The scepticism of political parties should not be ridiculed, instead, the government must continue to attempt to build consensus," he said.

"It must also refrain from seeking to implement such an important and valuable reform without taking all parties on board. This is not an ordinary reform as it will have a long-lasting impact on politics and governance," he stated.

Deora called for an inclusive and bipartisan approach to collate perspectives on this issue. "The government should also invite Indian intelligentsia, academics, organisations working on electoral reforms and students to collectively provide their perspectives on this issue," Deora said.

"In the last few years, we have seen partisan politics dictating matters that critically impact our democracy. This lack of bipartisanship is hurting India's prospects and preventing it from freeing itself from the clutches of archaic precedents and systems," he added.

He expressed a sense of disappointment with the political class for its lack of pragmatism while addressing important issues. "In India, bold ideas rarely get bipartisan support. BJP paid a price for opposing the Civilian Nuclear Agreement. Similarly, I am confident that friends in the Opposition will show pragmatism, objectivity, and far-sightedness when dealing with this issue," he said.

"It is unfortunate that India's political class — which I am a part of — is fast forgetting the art of debate, discussion, and engagement. This, in my opinion, is a grave threat to India's democratic nature," he stated.

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