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Published On: Wed, Jun 19th, 2019

Milind Deora supports ‘One Nation One Election’, goes against Congress’ official stance

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htmetro_584775a6-5789-11e9-8f69-76e382037a5fMUMBAI : Going against Congress’ official stance, party’s Mumbai unit president Milind Deora extended his support to the idea of ‘One Nation One Election’ floated by the Modi government.

Taking to Twitter to express his “personal views”, the 42-year-old politician says, “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 and adds populism to the character of governance which is not necessarily a long-term solution to some of the gravest problems Indians face.”

In the long post, Deora says the government’s proposal to hold simultaneous elections is worthy of a debate. “We must not forget that until 1967, India conducted simultaneous polls.” He, however, trashed arguments on polls straining the exchequer, stating that one “should be ready to keep our democracy thriving at any cost”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday met leaders of various political parties which have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha to discuss several issues, including the “one nation, one election”.
According to sources, Congress skipped the all-party meeting on ‘one nation, one poll’ issue since it is opposed to the idea of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
“India needs to outline a singular agenda for its social and economic growth. The skepticism of political parties should not be ridiculed, instead, the government must continue to attempt to build consensus.
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,” said Deora.
The government should also take inputs from Indian intelligentsia, academics, organisations and students on ‘One nation, one election’, he said. Supporting the idea of simultaneous poll, Deora added, “I am yet to see evidence which suggests that if elections to Vidhan Sabhas are held simultaneously with Lok Sabha elections, it will help the party that is in power nationally.
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.”

“India’s 70-year electoral journey has taught us that the Indian voter is aware, informed and can differentiate between state and 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,” added the Mumbai Congress chief.

On partisan politics, the former Congress MP 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. In India, bold ideas rarely get bipartisan support.
The Congress has earlier expressed its reservations about the meeting, contending that it would be against the country’s federal structure and will be complicated to implement in view of the necessary constitutional amendment.
Such an amendment can be carried out only with two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and getting enough parties on board is likely to be a challenge, the party has contended. Mr Deora agreed with leaders like Mamata Banerjee, who said the idea needs to be thoroughly examined by constitutional experts and others.

But he also added: “In India, bold ideas rarely get bipartisan support… I am confident that friends in the opposition will show pragmatism, objectivity and far-sightedness when dealing with this issue.”
He said it was unfortunate that India’s political class is “fast forgetting the art of debate, discussion and engagement”, which he added, “is a grave threat to India’s democratic nature”.

Mr Deora also dismissed some opposition leaders’ reservation that simultaneous elections at the states and the centre will help the political party in power at the Centre. He said he was yet to see any “evidence” of it.(With Agency Inputs ).



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