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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Barely a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for ‘one nation one election’ while speaking at the All India Presiding Officers Conference on November 26, the State unit of the BJP on Wednesday said that simultaneous elections will help curb the electoral expenses and time, however, the ruling-BJD in Odisha stated that there’s a need of greater debate on the subject.

The BJP put forward the argument that elections at regular intervals in the country is hampering development and an uniform election will decrease violence, communal disharmony, improve GDP and reduce extra pressure on teachers, police forces and administration. The party also stated that ‘one nation, one election’ is a necessity for India.

Addressing a webinar on ‘One Nation One Election’, BJP leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi said, “There will a same voter list for both Legislative Assembly and general elections. It will reduce work burden and save time, energy, money and man power while conserving resources.

However, Odisha Minister for Social Security and Empowerment of PwDs, Ashok Chandra Panda said that several factors like geographical obstacles, cultural diversity and resources among others need to be looked into before implementing the same. “I think a greater debate is needed on this subject,” said Panda.

“Federal structure increased the impact of regional parties in the country and this concept (One Nation One Election) is a plan to destroy those parties,” alleged senior Congress leader, Panchanan Kanungo.

Simultaneous elections were conducted in India from 1952 to 1967. Later in 1983 and 1999, discussions were held on holding uniform election, however, no headway was made in this regard.

Regional parties may not accept the proposal and confidence generation among these parties will be the key as, currently, there seems to be a trust deficit among the parties, said political expert, K Rabi.

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