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Nadda meets Kovind, former President to head committee to study 'One Nation, One Election'

New Delhi: BJP national president JP Nadda on Friday met former President Ram Nath Kovind at the latter's residence in New Delhi on Friday. The meeting assumes significance as the Centre constituted a committee headed by the former President to explore the possibility of 'One Nation, One Election'. 
If the proposal comes into effect, elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies across India will be held simultaneously with voting taking place at the same time. The government has decided to call a Special Session of Parliament from September 18-22 where it is speculated that the government could bring a bill for this proposal to take effect.
Meanwhile, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minsiter Pralhad Joshi said on Friday that the report of the committee will be discussed in the Parliament and asked why the Opposition is scared of it. 
"There will be a discussion (on 'One Nation, One Election') in Parliament. why is the Opposition scared (about it)? Democracy is about evolution; India is the mother of democracy. This is part of evolution," Pralhad Joshi said.
"In this evolution, every new proposal that benefits the nation will be discussed. For now, a committee has been formed and they will give their suggestion and then a discussion will be held on the subject. There were simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies till 1967. Now there are polls every few months and it is a huge expenditure. This must be discussed," Pralhad Joshi added.
A parliamentary standing committee, the Law Commission and Niti Ayog had earlier examined the 'One Nation, One Election' proposal and submitted reports on the subject. 
If 'One Nation, One Election' does come into effect it could mean that elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies across India will be held simultaneously, with voting taking place at the same time. 
Simultaneous elections for the state assemblies and the Lok Sabha were held till 1967. However, in 1968 and 1969 some legislative assemblies were dissolved prematurely followed by the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1970. This forced a change in electoral schedules for the states and the country. 
However, the opposition has objected to the idea of 'One Nation, One Election'. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said "For this, not just an amendment in the Constitution but also approval of states is also needed. In BJP-ruled states like Haryana and Maharashtra, they can decide and pass a proposal in the Cabinet to dissolve their respective assemblies...You can't just cut short the duration of a State assembly, it doesn't work like this..."

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