JD(U) backs ‘one nation, one poll’ citing logistics ease

JD(U) backs ‘one nation, one poll’ citing logistics ease

NEW DELHI: JD(U), which only recently returned to the NDA fold, has thrown its weight behind the idea of one-nation-one-election, citing the reduced

financial burden


policy continuity

and political stability and the logistical ease in conduct of electoral process that simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and all state assemblies would entail.

However, Nitish Kumar’s party is not in favour of adding local body elections to the synchronised LS and assembly poll exercise.

Conveying JD(U)’s stand to the one-nation-one-election committee led by former President R N Kovind here on Saturday, a delegation comprising JD(U) general secretary Sanjay Jha and parliamentary party leader Rajeev Ranjan Singh said “simultaneous elections (to LS and state legislatures) are important to strengthen the architecture of good governance”. It endorsed the view expressed by business associations like CII, Ficci, Assocham etc that economic growth would be the most positive outcome of simultaneous polls, with business in all the sectors likely to get a boost.

As regards elections to the third tier, that is, panchayats and municipalities, JD(U), in its nine-page memorandum submitted to the Kovind panel on Saturday, said they must “be held simultaneously but separately and not with (polls to the) House of the People and state legislature”.

The BJP’s Bihar ally cited 10 advantages of concurrent polls to the Lok Sabha and state/UT assemblies — saving of high costs associated with frequent elections, continuity in policy decisions, undivided attention to governance, higher voter turnout, reduced disruptions in normal life, streamlined electoral process, level playing field, ease of implementation, reduced poll-related violence and political stability.

The last official endorsement of simultaneous LS and assembly polls by JD(U) had come in 2018, when its leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar backed the proposal before the Law Commission of India. Even when JD(U) was exploring an alliance with I.N.D.I.A bloc prior to joining NDA, Nitish had not spoken against simultaneous polls.

JD(U) on Saturday told the Kovind panel that synchronised polls can reduce the financial burden associated with frequent elections, as campaigning, logistics and security measures would be consolidated. They would also facilitate uninterrupted policy implementation, besides enabling focus on governance and addressing long-term issues rather than short-term electoral considerations.

JD(U) is of the view that holding LS and assembly polls together may boost voter turnout as the electorate is more inclined to participate in a single voting event. It added that phasing out of frequent polls would enhance administrative efficiency and rule out disruptions. The party said concurrent polls would ensure better utilisation of resources and poll personnel, cut poll-related violence, offer all parties a level playing field and simplify the electoral calendar. Last but not the least, the potential for longer, uninterrupted terms for elected representatives could contribute to political stability and more consistent governance framework, said JD(U).

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