Taking a big step forward on the ‘one nation, one election’ proposal, the Centre has set up a committee to study the issue and submit a report. The panel will be headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind.
The move comes a day after Centre had announced a special session of the Parliament from September 18 to 22. Ever since the surprise announcement was made, there has been speculation that a bill on ‘one nation, one election’ will be tabled during the session, but no one from the government has confirmed this so far.
‘One nation, one election’ refers to holding the Lok Sabha and state assembly polls simultaneously across the country. The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have spoken on the issue on several occasions, and it was also a part of the party’s manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Conducting polls simultaneously was the norm in India until 1967 and four elections were held this way. The practice stopped after some state assemblies were dissolved prematurely in 1968-69. The Lok Sabha was also, for the first time, dissolved a year ahead of schedule in 1971 and mid-term elections had been called.