One Nation, One Election: Amit Shah Calls For Public Debate on Simultaneous Polls
File image of BJP chief Amit Shah | (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, Aug 10: Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Friday renewed the call for 'one nation, one election', saying there is a need for widespread consultation and pan-India discussion on the subject.

"The time has come for a public debate on whether we should move into simultaneous polls," Shah said. Due to recurring elections, the pace of development gets affected and governance gets hindered due to the imposition of model code of conduct, the BJP chief further added.

Shah's remarks came while speaking to news channel Aaj Tak. His call for a nationwide consultation on simultaneous elections comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue while speaking to the Chief Ministers of 23 states and two union territories at the fourth governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog held in June.

An official statement released by the NITI Aayog said the Prime Minister had pitched for simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas, "keeping in view aspects such as the resulting financial savings and better utilisation of resources".

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar advocated the agenda spearheaded by the PM, saying the focus on development gets diluted due to the nation being in a "perpetual election mode".

In April this year, the Law Commission had released a draft white paper on simultaneous elections, proposing a feasible plan to realise the Prime Minister's vision of 'one nation, one election'.

The draft opined that those state assemblies whose tenure are scheduled to conclude in 2021 should be dissolved earlier, and be contested along with the 2019 general elections. The Commission further proposed that those Vidhan Sabhas whose tenure will conclude in 2022 or later, should be given an extension till 2024 - when the subsequent Lok Sabha elections will be held.