States that the idea of ONOE is against democracy, federalism and Legislative Intent of Constituent Assembly
General Secretary of the Communist Party of India D. Raja met the High-Level Committee on One Nation, One Election headed by former-President Shri Ramnath Kovind in New Delhi today. The panel is formed to look into the idea of holding simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. Earlier in its written response to the Committee, the CPI expressed its opposition to the idea of One Nation, One Election on the ground of the idea being anti-democratic, anti-federal and against the spirit of our Constitution. The CPI reiterated its stance on ONOE through General Secretary D. Raja before the Committee today.
D. Raja explained to the committee that the makers of our Constitution were conscious of our country’s immense diversity and anticipated that frequent elections will take place in our multi-party democracy. That is why, the Election Commission of India was conceived as a permanent body deriving authority directly from the Constitution under Article 324. In this light, the idea of ONOE goes against the legislative intent of the Constituent Assembly, led by luminaries like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar among many. The cycle of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies broke when the CPI, breaking the monopoly of power, won elections in Kerala in 1957 and the CPI Government was dismissed by the Center later. Elections to the Kerala Assembly were held separate from Lok Sabha elections after that. Further, in 1967 the dominant party lost power in as many as eight states and different political forces emerged on the political horizon. In short, for a long time, elections were neither denied nor imposed and our political system remained flexible to our needs.
Reasons behind the break in one-party rule and holding of elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies include penetration of democracy, emergence of political parties giving expression to regional aspirations and certain emergencies. The idea of ONOE curtails the right of state governments to continue in office till they enjoy the confidence of the assembly or till the expiry of their term after five years. Our democracy rests on the foundations of federalism and state rights. Not allowing state governments to continue with their mandate is highly undemocratic and anti-federal. The idea of ONOE is the result of the monolithic ideology of the RSS-BJP which detests the diversity of our country and our political system. ONOE is an attempt at homogenizing popular opinion as it is reflected in their choices in Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections. Instead of debating ONOE, the time is for discussing comprehensive electoral reforms, abolishing electoral bonds and implement the recommendations of the Indrajit Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections to ensure free and fair election with level playing field. The CPI opposed the undemocratic idea of ONOE before the Law Commission of India, in its written response before the High-Level Committee and in-person today before the Committee.