Abandon the idea of ‘One Nation, One Election’, Kharge tells panel

The Congress on Friday strongly opposed the “undemocratic” idea of holding simultaneous elections in the country and said it goes against the guarantees of federalism and the basic structure of the Constitution.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge also demanded that the idea be abandoned and the high-powered committee formed to study it be dissolved.

In a letter to the secretary of the committee on one nation, one election, he requested former president Ram Nath Kovind, who heads the panel, “not to allow his persona and the office of the former president of India to be abused by the Union government to subvert the constitution and parliamentary democracy in this country”.

“The Indian National Congress is strongly opposed to the very idea of ‘One Nation, One Election’. For the sake of maintaining a thriving and a robust democracy, it is imperative that the entire idea must be abandoned and the high-powered committee dissolved,” Mr Kharge said in his letter to Niten Chandra, the secretary of the committee.

His letter came in response to Chandra’s letter on October 18 whereby he had invited suggestions for consideration of the committee.

He said the committee seems to have “already made up its mind and seeking a consultation seems to be an eye wash”.

“The government, parliament and ECI should work together to ensure people’s mandate is respected rather than divert people’s attention by talking about undemocratic ideas like simultaneous elections,” Kharge said.

He said the composition of the committee is “biased” as it was formed without giving substantial representation to the Opposition parties that head various state governments that would be affected by the recommendations of this committee.