Congress leader and former Member of Parliament Milind Deora has released a statement expressing his willingness to debate the 'One Nation-One Poll' reform to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, over which an all-party meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
In a statement released by Deora on Twitter, the former Minister of State (MoS) for Telecom, IT, Posts, Shipping and Ports welcomed a debate on the topic, critiquing it to some degree. Deora has mentioned that continuous elections come as barriers, further blocking the path for good governance. He also stated that real issues go unnoticed and eventually fade away from being addressed in light of politicians always being in 'election-mode'. In addition, he also mentioned that frequent elections do not tackle some of the gravest issues India faces.
Deora asserted that democracy needs to flourish at any cost, without poll arguments and differences. A concrete agenda made out of mutual agreement is essential for a social and economic growth, he said.
"India needs to outline a singular agenda for its social and economic growth"
He also suggested that political parties should not be ridiculed for not being sold on the feasibility of simultaneous elections, and that instead, a mutual agreement needs to be drafted:
"It(the government) must also refrain from seeking to implement such an important and valuable reform without taking all parties on board."
The former parliamentarian later said that the outcome of the reform which will be drafted by all parties will have a long-lasting impact on national politics and governance. Another point he made was that the decision and deliberation in the matter must not rest squarely with politicians, rather the government should consider taking on board the broad Indian Intelligentsia, academic professionals, organisations which are working on electoral reforms and also the students to consider multiple perspectives relevant to the issues.
"In the last few years, we have seen partisan politics dictating matters that critically impact our democracy. This lack of bipartisanship is hurting India’s prospects and preventing it from freeing itself from the clutches of archaic precedents and systems." he said
Opining that bold ideas rarely get bipartisan support in India, Deora also stated his hope that the Opposition will show pragmatism, objectivity and far-sightedness when the issue is discussed. He also pointed out that India's political fraternity is forgetting 'discussion, debate and engagement' at a fast pace which comes as a serious threat to the country's democratic nature.
He proceeded to speak about how the most recent Lok Sabha elections hadn't augured well for the BJP as far as the concurrent assembly polls were concerned:
"I am yet to see evidence which suggests that if elections to Vidhan Sabhas are held simultaneously with Lok Sabha elections, it will help the party that is in power nationally. Only recently, along with the Lok Sabha elections, the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh elected members to their respective Vidhan Sabhas."
Milind Deora concluded his statement by saying that the Indian voter is well aware about the functioning of state and central elections. He also stated that the Indian democracy is well developed and the idea of One Nation-One Poll will open doors for a good governance.
One Nation one poll is the concept of simultaneous elections in Lok Sabha and state assembly elections which, if implemented, will mean that:
Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janta Dal chief Naveen Patnaik too has supported the PM's move.