"INDIA, that is Bharat, a Union of States..." Rahul Gandhi slams Centre on 'One Nation, One election'

    The Hawk
    September3/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government for "toying' with the idea of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha elections and state assembly elections in the country.

    According to the Congress MP representing Wayanad in Kerala, the idea of One Nation, One Election is an attack on the "Bharat" which, as per him, is the "Union of States.

    In a message on his social media post, X, formerly known as Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said, "INDIA, that is Bharat, is a Union of States. The idea of ‘one nation, one election’ is an attack on the Union and all its States."

    The Centre on Saturday constituted an eight-member committee to examine and make recommendations for holding simultaneous elections in the country.

    The members of the committee, apart from former President Kovind, include Union Home Minister Amit Shah; Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury; former Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad; former Finance Commission chairman NK Singh, former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash C Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former chief vigilance commissioner Sanjay Kothari.

    The notification of the high-powered panel by the Centre came just days after it announced a special session of the Parliament from September 18 to 22, on the same day the two-day Mumbai conclave of the INDIA bloc was in progress.

    However, the government remained tight-lipped on the issues to be taken up during the special session.

    Opposition leaders slammed the BJP-led Centre for announcing a special session without holding prior consultations with them or informing the Business Advisory Committee.

    According to the Centre, the high-level committee shall start functioning immediately and make recommendations at the earliest.

    Further, according to the official notification, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal will attend the meetings of the committee as a special invitee.

    Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, however, declined to serve on the panel, saying its “terms of reference have been prepared in a manner to guarantee its conclusions”.

    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.