The ruling Telugu Desam Party had opposed the one nation – one election plan of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government. The TDP leaders saw the move as a conspiracy against the regional parties in their representation to the Law Commission in New Delhi. The TDP also saw that the simultaneous elections will be a big blow to the rights of the States in the federal structure.
The TDP MPs Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar and Thota Narasimham met the Law Commission, which is taking opinions from various political parties on conducting simultaneous elections in the country.
While claiming that the TDP is ready for early elections to the State Assembly too along with Lok Sabha, the TDP MPs asserted that they are not ready to accept the simultaneous polls every time for every state.
In the representation submitted to the Law Commission, the TDP MPs listed how various governments at the Centre under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and HD Deve Gowda collapsed without completing the five-year tenure.
“The ‘one nation-one poll’ (simultaneous elections) idea may be good, but it requires detailed study, investigation and in-depth planning besides political consensus,’’ the TDP MPs said.
Referring to Vajpayee’s regime of 30 days in 1998, the TDP asked whether all the State Assemblies will be dissolved in such a scenario. “Does the entire country go to polls again?’’ the party asked and said the idea is against the ethos of democracy as it undermines people’s mandate.
Further, it also dilutes the spirit of Xth schedule. “It requires Constitutional amendments to the Representation of People’s Act. It may also require massive changes in the Election Commission,’’ the TDP felt.
“Simultaneous elections are incompatible with the Constitution and the idea is also impracticable,’’ the party felt.
If elections are held simultaneously, then they must be accompanied with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) through EVMs, the party MPs said. The TDP said that simultaneous elections will require an additional 1.6 million machines and cost `3,000 crore.
At present, the EC has about 1.9 million EVMs. For simultaneous elections, the number of machines with VVPAT facility required will be about 7.5 million. “It involves huge expenditure and it takes several years for manufacturing the machines,’’ the TDP MPs said.
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