One Nation, One Election is anti-federal: CPI-M

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi: The CPI-M on Wednesday came out strongly against the 'One Nation, One Election' proposal, calling it "fundamentally anti-federal, anti-democratic" and striking at the root of the parliamentary democratic system.

PI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a note submitted at an all-party meeting here that holding the Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections together would require tampering with the Constitutional scheme of accountability of the government to the legislature.

"Apart from the technical issues involved in the holding of the simultaneous elections to Parliament and state Assemblies, our opposition to this is based on the fact that it is fundamentally anti-federal, anti-democratic and strikes at the root of the parliamentary democratic system as ordained in the Constitution," Yechury said.

He admitted that elections were indeed held simultaneously after India adopted a Constitution.

"However, elections to the state Assemblies got detached from the general elections due to the arbitrary misuse of Article 356 by the Central government. This process began with the dismissal of the Communist Ministry in Kerala in 1959.

"Holding the Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections together would require tampering with the Constitutional scheme of accountability of the government to the legislature... 

"Under the Constitution, if a government loses the confidence of the legislature either by being voted out on a no-confidence motion, or, losing a vote on a Money Bill, it is bound to resign. If no alternative government can be formed, the House is dissolved and a mid-term election held.

"There is no fixity of tenure enshrined in the Constitution either for the Lok Sabha or for the state legislatures. 

"Any attempt to prolong the life of the Lok Sabha or legislature will not only be unconstitutional but also anti-democratic. It is the will of the people through their elected representatives that must prevail," Yechury said. 

The CPI-M leader debunked the various suggestions to hold simultaneous elections, calling one of them "outrageous" and an attempt to bring an executive Presidency through the back door.

"India is a vast country with myriad diversities and only a federal set-up can sustain political democracy. Having elections in states at different times is one aspect of the federal system," he said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES