The Congress on Saturday rejected the ‘One Nation, One Election’ idea, calling it an assault on the Constitution and federalism.
Addressing a briefing on the deliberations of the first meeting of the reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) here, party leader P Chidambaram said the BJP does not have the numbers to pass the required constitutional amendments for holding simultaneous polls.
“One Nation, One Election is an assault on the Constitution… it is an attack on federalism,” he said when asked about the issue.
It will require at least five constitutional amendments and the BJP knows that it does not have the numbers to pass these, the senior Congress leader said.
“Yet, if it (BJP) puts forward this mirage of ‘One Nation, One Election’ it is only to divert attention from the pressing issues and to create a false narrative. We reject this ‘One Nation, One Election’ idea,” Chidambaram said.
His remarks come days after the government set up an eight-member high-level committee to examine and make recommendations at the earliest on the issue of holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, state assemblies, municipalities and panchayats.
The committee will be headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind and will have Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and former finance commission chairman N K Singh as members.
Chowdhury had later declined to be part of the panel.
Later, a resolution passed by the CWC, said the ‘One Nation, One Election’ proposal is “yet another brazen attack on the federal structure of the country”.
“The Modi government has systematically undermined federalism through overriding legislation, reduction in the States’ share of tax revenues, misuse of the office of Governor, creating roadblocks in implementing schemes and programmes in opposition-governed states like it has happened in regard to the food security guarantee in Karnataka, and denying emergency funds and disaster relief to states like Himachal Pradesh that has been hit by floods and landslides,” the resolution stated.