Gandhi said ‘Bharat, is a union of states’ and the concept of ‘One Nation, One Election’ is an attack on the ‘Indian union and all its states’. “INDIA, that is Bharat, is a Union of States,” the leader posted on X, earlier Twitter.
Gandhi’s attack comes after the government set up a high-level committee headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind on the possibility of holding simultaneous elections.
On Saturday, the central government formed an eight-member committee tasked with evaluating and providing recommendations for conducting simultaneous elections in the nation.
The committee comprises several prominent members including, former President Ram Nath Kovind, Union home minister Amit Shah, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former leader of the 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 central government announced the formation of the committee just days after it had announced a special Parliament session scheduled from September 18 to 22. Interestingly, this coincided with the ongoing two-day Mumbai conclave of the INDIA bloc.
However, the government refrained from disclosing the specific topics to be addressed during the special session.
Opposition leaders criticised the BJP-led Central government for unilaterally announcing a special session without engaging in prior consultations with them or informing the Business Advisory Committee.
As per the Centre, the committee will start functioning with immediate effect, and provide 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 both state assemblies and the Lok Sabha were conducted until 1967. In 1968 and 1969, certain legislative assemblies were dissolved prematurely, and this was followed by the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1970. Consequently, these events necessitated alterations to the electoral timetables for both the states and the country.
(With inputs from agencies)