One Nation One Election: Kovind Committee Submits Report Claiming Approval for Simultaneous Elections in 2029

The committee chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind, which has been deliberating on the concept of One Nation One Election, presented its report to President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday (March 14). The 18,626-page report was handed over to the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. According to reports, this comprehensive document was formulated by the committee since its inception on September 2, 2023, encompassing inputs from stakeholders and the findings of 191 days of research.

The report highlights that 47 political parties shared their viewpoints on the One Nation One Election proposal, with 32 in favor and 15 against it. This extensive consultation process underscores the varied perspectives within the political spectrum regarding the synchronization of electoral cycles between the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies.

Kovind Committee Recommends Simultaneous Elections by 2029

According to reports, the Kovind Committee has proposed conducting simultaneous elections by 2029. This includes elections for the Lok Sabha, state legislative assemblies, and local bodies. The idea of compiling voter lists for elections has also been put forth. The report also suggests the possibility of amending the constitution for electoral reforms.

Furthermore, the report states that if all parties agree on the commission’s proposal, it could be implemented as early as 2029. Subsequently, elections for the legislative assemblies in 25 states will be held by December 2026.

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram may extend their legislative terms until June 2029. Following this, elections for both state assemblies and the Lok Sabha could be synchronized across all states.

Formation of the Committee with 8 Members, Headed by Former President Kovind

In the preceding year, on September 2, under the leadership of former President Kovind, a committee comprising 8 members was formed. The inaugural meeting of the One Nation One Election Committee was convened on September 23, 2023, at the Jodhpur Officers’ Hostel in Delhi. 

Among the members were former President Ram Nath Kovind, Home Minister Amit Shah, and former parliamentarian Ghulam Nabi Azad. Additionally, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal was appointed as a special member of the committee.

Implementation of "One Nation, One Election"

Implementation of “One Nation, One Election” Could Lead to Extension of Legislative Terms

The possibility of implementing “One Nation, One Election” entails the reduction of the terms of various state legislative assemblies. In states where legislative elections are scheduled until the end of 2023, their terms could be extended. 

This move is part of the strategy to streamline the electoral process across the nation, ensuring synchronized elections at all levels.

First Batch: 8 States: Voting in June 2024

Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim: Their terms are due to expire in June 2024.

Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Delhi: Their terms will be reduced by 5-8 months. Subsequently, elections in these states will be held every 5 years until June 2029.

Second Batch: 6 States: Voting in November 2025

Bihar: The current term will be completed, followed by a shortened term of just three years.

Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry: These states will experience a reduction in their current terms by 3 years and 7 months. Their subsequent terms will also be three years long.

Third Batch: 11 States: Voting in December 2026

Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Manipur, Punjab, and Uttarakhand: In these states, the current term will be reduced by 3 to 5 months. Subsequently, their terms will last for approximately two years.

Gujarat, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura: Currently, their terms will be shortened from 13 to 17 months. Afterward, they will have terms of about two years.

After these three batches, the terms of all the legislative assemblies in the country will be completed by June 2029. According to sources, the Kovind Committee will seek amendments beyond the five-point plan, including incorporating provisions to synchronize the elections of local bodies as well.

BJP and Its Allies in Support, Congress-TMC in Opposition

According to reports, the BJP and its allies have collectively expressed their support for simultaneous elections. However, opposition parties like the Congress and its allies – TMC, NCP, and AIMIM – have opposed it. The BSP and the AIADMK are in support of it. This committee was formed last year in September.

The report also includes statements from the Election Commission, legal experts, and constitutional experts. It suggests that holding simultaneous elections will be in the interest of the public. It will accelerate economic growth and bring stability to governance.

What Comes Next?

Following the Lok Sabha elections, this report will be presented before the Cabinet. According to Cabinet decisions, new clauses will be added to the Constitution, which will be ratified by the Law Commission, enabling simultaneous elections. 

It will be circulated to both houses of Parliament and proposed to state legislatures as well. After this, elections for both Lok Sabha and state assemblies can be synchronized in three phases until 2029.

What is One Nation One Election?

Currently in India, elections for state legislative assemblies and the national Lok Sabha are held at different times. One Nation One Election means holding elections for both the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies simultaneously across the entire country. This implies that voters would cast their ballots for both Lok Sabha and state assembly members on the same day, at the same time, or in phased manner.

After independence, in 1952, 1957, 1962, and 1967, Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly elections were conducted simultaneously. However, in 1968 and 1969, many state assemblies were dissolved prematurely. Consequently, in 1970, the Lok Sabha was also dissolved prematurely, leading to the breakdown of the tradition of One Nation One Election in India.

Niyati Rao

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