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Frequent elections create atmosphere of uncertainty; impact policy decisions, says committee for simultaneous election

New Delhi: The High-Level Committee on 'One Nation One Election' led by former President Ram Nath Kovind in its report stated that frequent elections create an atmosphere of uncertainty and impact policy decisions adding that holding simultaneous elections would bring enhanced certainty in policy making.
While highlighting the advantages of simultaneous elections the committee stated that 'One Nation One Election' ensures ease and convenience to voters, avoids voters' fatigue and facilitates greater voter turnout.
Synchronising elections would result in higher economic growth and stability as it would enable businesses to make decisions without fear of adverse policy changes, stated the committee.
Conducting elections to all three tiers of the government together would avoid disruption of supply chains and production cycles due to migrant workers seeking leave of absence to cast their vote. Simultaneous elections enhance focus on governance and prevent policy paralysis, the committee stated.
The simultaneous elections would reduce the financial burden on the government exchequer by avoiding duplication of expenditure on intermittent elections, the committee added.
It's report further stated that the adoption of simultaneous elections would result in the optimised use of scarce resources and result in increased capital investment and asset creation.
Synchronising electoral calendars would mean the availability of more time for governance and ensure unhindered delivery of public services to citizens, also said the committee.
They noted that it would reduce the number of election-related offences and disputes and reduce the burden on courts.
The committee added that the elections would result in the avoidance of duplication of efforts and saving of time and energy of government officials, political workers and security forces, said the committee.
Holding elections once every five years would result in the mitigation of social disharmony and conflict, which is often observed during elections, it added.
Former president Kovid-led Committee earlier today called on President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted its report on the 'One Nation One Election'.
The 18,626 pages long report is an outcome of extensive consultations with stakeholders, experts and research work over 191 days, since its constitution on September 2, 2023.
Other members of the Committee are Amit Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, NK Singh, former Chairman, of the 15th Finance Commission, Subhash C Kashyap, former Secretary General, Lok Sabha, Harish Salve, Senior Advocate, and Sanjay Kothari, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Law and Justice was a Special Invitee and Dr Niten Chandra was the Secretary of the high-level panel.
The Committee held extensive consultations to understand the views of different stakeholders. Forty-seven political parties submitted their views and suggestions, out of which 32 supported simultaneous elections. Many political parties had extensive discussions with the High-level committee on this matter.
In response to a public notice published in newspapers in all the States and Union territories, 21,558 responses were received from citizens from all over India. 80 per cent of the respondents supported simultaneous elections.
Experts on law such as four former Chief Justices of India and 12 former Chief Justices of major High Courts, four former Chief Election Commissioners of India, eight State Election Commissioners, and the Chairman of the Law Commission of India were invited by the Committee for interaction in person. The views of the Election Commission of India were also sought.
Apex business organizations like the CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and eminent economists were also consulted to present their views on the economic repercussions of asynchronous elections.
They advocated the economic imperative of simultaneous elections on account of the effect of asynchronous elections on fuelling inflation and slowing down the economy.
The Committee was briefed by these bodies that intermittent elections had adverse consequences on economic growth, quality of public expenditure, and educational and other outcomes, besides upsetting social harmony.
The central government in September last year constituted a high-level Committee to examine the issue of 'One Nation, One Election' and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections in the country.

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