In what might be seen as a setback of sorts to BJP, its ally in Maharashtra the Shiv Sena has raised doubts over ‘One Nation, One Election’ plan.
According to the Hindustan Times, Shiv Sena also raised questions about the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system. Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP), dubbed ‘One Nation, One Election’ plan as “infeasible” and said it would put regional parties at a disadvantage. Raut told the leading daily, “In such a vast country, governments are pulled down or formed with one vote. Then is ‘One Nation, One Election’ feasible? One cannot have governor’s rule in a state for three years. There are many issues related to this and it needs to be discussed. It is practically infeasible right now.”
Vinayak Raut, group leader of Sena in the Lok Sabha told the Hindustan Times, “When state and Central elections are held simultaneously, elections are held on national issues. In that case, the regional party will be at a disadvantage. We will put forward all the issues and concerns before the committee.”
Earlier, on June 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting in an effort to form consensus around its ‘One Nation, One Election’ pitch. In the meeting, no Shiv Sena representatives attended the meeting as it clashed with party’s foundation day. The idea of “One Nation, One Election” means conducting the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies’ elections together, once in five years. This excludes elections to panchayats and state municipalities as well as by-elections.