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AAP opposes proposal of 'One Nation, One Election', terms it 'unconstitutional', against principles of democracy

News Agencies | Updated on: 24 January 2023, 9:33 IST
AAP leader and MLA Atishi.

The Aam Aadmi Party has opposed the proposal of 'One Nation, One Election', calling it unconstitutional and against the principles of democracy. The party said that the proposal is a front to legitimise BJP's alleged 'Operation Lotus' and legalise the sale and purchase of MLAs. If no party gets a majority, then MLAs and MPs can elect CMs and PM through a direct presidential-style vote.

In a press conference at Aam Aadmi Party headquarters, senior AAP leader and MLA Atishi said, "The Aam Aadmi Party has submitted a 12-page reply to National Law Commission, highlighting its concerns against the proposal of One Nation One Election. The Parliament has the power to amend the Constitution. Still, it cannot alter its basic structure, as held by a 13 judge-bench of SC in the landmark judgement of Kesavananda Bharati case."

She added, "The basic structure of the constitution warrants the country a parliamentary form of democracy. The legislature can scrutinise the government through questions, resolutions, no-confidence motions, adjournment motions and debates. The government lasts until the time it has the confidence of the house. But in the One Nation One Election plan, this whole concept gets altered."

"The elections are held simultaneously then state-centric issues will get absolved from the public discourse because it will become a game controlled by powerful and resource-rich parties," she stated.

"There are patterns that indicate that various sections of the society vote for two completely different parties in the state and centre elections. Elections rather than being a democratic exercise will become a game of money and muscle. This process will replace the Parliamentary system in its spirit and principle" she continued.

Atishi also said, "By introducing the "constructive vote of no-confidence", simultaneous elections will undermine democracy and the people's right to elect their representatives and hold them accountable. In today's situation, elections are held again and the people have the right to take their decision again. And the public can elect a new government by voting again. But in the 'One Nation, One Election' system, people will have to wait till the next election."

"There is another very dangerous thing in this proposal which is called 'Constructive vote of no confidence' i.e. if any government falls after a no-confidence motion, then the same Chief Minister or Prime Minister will remain in his post until someone else forms his government. This means that governments can run for many years despite not having a majority in the House, as elections can only be held after five years," she added.

The MLA said, "The Proposed mechanism for selection of PM/CM in case of hung parliament/assembly is impractical, dangerous and will lead to the institutionalised defection of legislators. The most dangerous aspect of the proposal of 'One Nation, One Election' is that 'if suppose no one's government is formed or no party gets majority then how will the Prime Minister or Chief Minister be elected. Because elections can be held only after 5 years, in this situation, buying and selling of MLAs will be legal and constitutional."

She concluded, "We also have a question as to why this proposal is being brought. It is said time and again that elections cost a lot. The election is a very expensive process. Because of this, we are bringing 'One Nation, One Election'. Rs 9,000 crore were spent in the 2019 general elections. If we consider that almost all their money is spent on conducting state elections. If both elections are held together, it is natural that more resources, more EVM machines and more force will be required. In such a situation, let us assume that at least 50 per cent of the Rs 9,000 crore will be spent.

"Overall, to save Rs 5,000 crore rupees in 5 years i.e. to save the expenditure of one thousand crore rupees in one year, the democracy of our country, and the people's rule is being put in danger today. Aam Aadmi Party strongly opposes this proposal of 'One Nation, One Election'. It is unconstitutional and it is against the principle of democracy."

In the press conference, AAP leader Jasmine Shah said, "In 2018, the Law Commission analysed the idea and brought out a 175-page report supporting the One Nation One Election. We analysed the proposal with an open mind to understand its good and bad ideas in detail. Had we come to the conclusion that the proposal may benefit the country, we would have definitely supported it. But when we closely read the report and how they plan to implement the idea, we have come to a very different conclusion."

He continued, "One of the principles of the basic structure of the Indian Constitution is the parliamentary system of government. Through this proposal, they are trying to replace the parliamentary system of government with a presidential system, and this is a very serious and dangerous matter and the people of the country must understand it."

"If the 'One Nation, One Election' proposal is brought into existence with its current formula, it is clearly evident which political party it benefits. These are a few of the rationales we have explained in the Aam Aadmi Party's 12-page detailed report submitted to the Law Commission. We have shared our report with the media as well and we encourage people to read it" he concluded.


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First published: 24 January 2023, 9:33 IST