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2020-11-27

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Relevant for: Indian Polity | Topic: Elections, Election Commission and the Electoral Reforms in India Incl. Political Parties

Focus should be on holding key elections together so that development work is not hindered, said Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the idea of ‘one nation, one election’ cannot be limited to just a talking point and instead is the need of the country. Holding key elections after a gap of a few months hinders development and the focus should be on holding them together, Modi reiterated.

Steps should be taken to streamline voter cards to ensure that different cards are not needed for national, state, panchayat, and local elections, Modi said in a virtual address to the concluding session of the 80th All India Presiding Officers Conference. The prime minister also paid tributes to the security forces and said India was fighting terrorism with new policies. Thursday marked 12 years of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Modi also talked about the need to focus more on technology and create a central database of all legislative bodies, including Parliament and assemblies. India has the potential to take on all the challenges of the 21st century, Modi said on Constitution Day.

“One nation, one election is not just a discussion point. It is the need of the country. There are some big elections every few months and you all know the kind of impact it has on developmental work. A deeper study and discussion are needed on it and my suggestion is presiding officers can lead such discussions," Modi said.

“Only one voter list should be used for Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and other elections. Why are we wasting time and money on these lists?"

“One Nation, One Election" was part of the 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Modi has spoken on the issue earlier. The prime minister had called for an all-party meeting in June last year to discuss the concept of simultaneous parliamentary and assembly elections but the heads of several prominent Opposition parties skipped the first formal meeting on the subject.

Modi also said that the faith of common citizens for the three pillars of democracy, legislature, executive and judiciary, has increased during the covid-19 pandemic this year as several steps were taken to overcome it including passage of key bills in Parliament. He also lauded the smooth conduct of the recent elections, in reference to Bihar, despite concerns over the pandemic.

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