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One Nation, One Election: Ram Nath Kovind-Led Panel Submits Report To President Droupadi Murmu

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New Delhi: The committee headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind on ‘One Nation, One Election’ submitted its report to President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday. One of the key recommendations includes implementing a single electoral roll and Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) for elections across all three tiers of government.

Report Highlights:

  • The high-level committee, in its report presented to President Draupadi Murmu, has suggested a two-step strategy for conducting simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha, state assemblies, and local bodies.
  • The panel led by Ram Nath Kovind has suggested a phased approach to implement simultaneous elections. In the initial phase, elections for the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies could be conducted simultaneously.
  • Subsequently, within the second phase, elections for Municipalities and Panchayats could follow within a timeframe of 100 days.
  • The Committee suggests that if a hung House occurs and a no-confidence motion results in the formation of a new House, fresh elections may be conducted to complete the remainder of the five-year term.
  • The committee report stated that in states where fresh elections are conducted for the State Legislative Assemblies, the newly elected Legislative Assembly will continue its term until the end of the Lok Sabha’s tenure, unless dissolved earlier.
  • The Election Commission will create a single electoral roll and issue voter ID cards in coordination with state electoral authorities for elections at the Lok Sabha, assembly, and local body levels.
  • A Constitution Amendment Bill will have to be introduced in the Parliament amending Article 83 (Duration of Houses of Parliament) and Article 172 (Duration of State Legislatures). This Constitutional Amendment will not seed ratification by the States, the report said.
  • The Committee has determined that its recommendations will notably improve the transparency, inclusiveness, ease, and confidence of voters.

    One Nation One Poll
  • In simpler terms, the proposal suggests that all Indians will cast their votes for both Lok Sabha (Central) and Assembly (State) elections within the same year.
  • The comprehensive report, spanning a staggering 18,626 pages, is the result of thorough consultations with stakeholders, experts, and extensive research conducted over a period of 191 days. The panel, formed on September 2, 2023.
  • The panel, chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind, comprises several prominent figures including Amit Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, NK Singh, former Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, Subhash C Kashyap, former Secretary-General of Lok Sabha, Harish Salve, Senior Advocate, and Sanjay Kothari, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Law and Justice, served as a Special Invitee, while Dr. Niten Chandra acted as the Secretary of the high-level panel.
  • The Committee extended invitations to experts in law, including four former Chief Justices of India and 12 former Chief Justices of significant High Courts, as well as four former Chief Election Commissioners of India, eight State Election Commissioners, and the Chairman of the Law Commission of India, for in-person interactions. Additionally, the Committee sought the views of the Election Commission of India.
  • In September, 2023 the central government established a high-level Committee tasked with examining the feasibility of ‘One Nation, One Election’ and providing recommendations for conducting simultaneous elections throughout the country.

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