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One Nation One Election in India Values, Merits and Demerits

One Nation One Election is a proposed electoral reform in India that advocates synchronizing all elections in the country, be it parliamentary, state assembly, or local body elections, to be held simultaneously once every five years. The concept aims to streamline the election process, reduce election-related expenses, minimize the disruption caused by frequent elections, and enhance governance by enabling the focus to shift from campaigning to policy implementation. Proponents argue that it will also lead to increased voter participation and eliminate the constant cycle of elections. However, implementation requires extensive constitutional amendments and consensus among political parties and stakeholders.

One Nation One Election in India

The idea behind One Nation One Election is to time the Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament) and State Assemblies elections in India so that they coincide. At the moment, India holds national elections for the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies every five years. To add to the cost burden on the government, some states also hold separate elections for their State Assemblies.

By holding all elections at once, the One Nation One Election concept hopes to simplify the electoral process by lowering the number of elections and their accompanying expenses. Voters might participate in various elections simultaneously thanks to this synchronization, which would streamline the electoral process and possibly boost turnout. The administration hopes to improve the effectiveness of governance by harmonizing election timetables.

Merits of One Nation One Election

The implementation of One Nation One Election in India has several potential merits

  • Synchronizing elections at various levels would significantly reduce election-related expenses, including costs for security, logistics, and campaigning.
  • Frequent elections often lead to disruptions in governance as the focus shifts to electioneering rather than policy implementation. One Nation One Election would provide a longer period of stable governance, allowing elected representatives to concentrate on implementing policies.
  • Frequent elections sometimes lead to voter fatigue and decreased voter turnout. With synchronized elections, voters would have to cast their votes only once every five years, potentially leading to higher participation and more informed decision-making by the electorate.
  • Simultaneous elections would ensure policy continuity as the same government would be in power at all levels for a fixed term. This would facilitate long-term planning and consistent policy implementation.
  • Conducting multiple elections at different times puts a strain on the administrative machinery. One Nation One Election would ease the burden on election commissions.
  • Synchronized elections could potentially lead to greater political stability as it would reduce the likelihood of frequent mid-term elections, coalition governments, and the associated instability.

Demerits of One Nation One Election

The implementation of the One Nation One Election in India has several potential demerits:

  • One Nation One Election could undermine the unique political dynamics and regional interests of different states in India, as it promotes a uniform election cycle. It may overlook the diverse issues and aspirations of individual states, leading to a neglect of their specific needs.
  • With synchronized elections, there is a risk that national issues will overshadow local concerns. Local and regional issues may not receive adequate attention and discussion, as politicians focus more on national-level campaigning and agendas.
  • India’s federal structure allows states to have their own governments and policies. One Nation One Election could weaken this federal structure by centralizing power and decision-making, potentially reducing the autonomy of states and their ability to address local issues effectively.
  • Frequent elections can lead to voter fatigue, where citizens become disengaged and less interested in participating in the electoral process.
  • Simultaneous elections require significant financial resources for campaigning purposes. Smaller parties or candidates with limited funding may struggle to compete on a larger scale, potentially creating an imbalance in political representation and limiting the diversity of voices in the democratic process.
  • Different states in India may have varying political ideologies, priorities, and policy preferences. One Nation One Election could disrupt policy continuity, as changes in national-level governments may lead to significant shifts in state-level governance, potentially impacting long-term planning and development.
  • Implementing synchronized elections across a vast and diverse country like India poses significant logistical challenges. Ensuring adequate security, efficient administration, and coordination among multiple stakeholders can be complex and may increase the risk of logistical failures or delays in conducting elections.
  • Constitutional Amendments: Changing the electoral cycle and terms of governments at different levels would require amending several provisions of the Constitution, which can be a complex and time-consuming process.

What is the Model Code of Conduct for One Nation One Election?

Building Consensus: The initiative requires building consensus among different national and regional political parties to facilitate simultaneous elections at the national and state levels.

Constitutional Amendments: To implement the concept of One Nation One Election, certain constitutional amendments are necessary. This includes amending five articles of the Constitution and the 1951 Representation of People’s Act. The articles that require changes are:

  • Article 83: Pertains to the tenure of the Houses of Parliament.
  • Article 85: Deals with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha by the President.
  • Article 172: Concerns the duration of state legislatures.
  • Article 174: Addresses the dissolution of state assemblies.
  • Article 356: Deals with the imposition of the President’s rule.

These amendments are crucial for establishing measures to stabilize the tenure of both the Parliament and state assemblies. The Model Code of Conduct for One Nation One Election aims to streamline the electoral process in India by synchronizing elections at various levels of governance. This approach seeks to enhance efficiency, reduce the cost of elections, and ensure a focused and uninterrupted governance process.


The proposal for simultaneous elections aims to reduce the frequency of elections and create a more efficient governance system by avoiding the continuous cycle of elections, which can disrupt developmental work and impose a significant financial burden. Advocates argue that it would lead to better policy continuity, as governments would have a fixed term and sufficient time to implement their programs without being interrupted by frequent elections.

However, the implementation of “One Nation, One Election” faces several challenges and requires constitutional amendments. The Indian Constitution mandates that state legislative assemblies have a fixed term of five years, while the term of the Lok Sabha can be dissolved earlier through a vote of no-confidence or other means. To synchronize all elections, either state assemblies or the Lok Sabha would need to be dissolved prematurely or extended to align their terms.

Additionally, the diversity of India’s political landscape and the federal structure of the country make it complex to achieve a consensus among various political parties and states. Different states have different political dynamics, regional issues, and local concerns, which may not align with a centralized approach to elections.

Therefore, while the idea of “One Nation, One Election” has been discussed at length, there is no conclusive decision. It remains a subject of ongoing debate and deliberation among policymakers, political parties, and constitutional experts in India.


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What is "One Nation, One Election" in India?

One Nation, One Election" refers to the proposal of holding simultaneous elections for all levels of government in India, including the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) and state legislative assemblies. The idea is to synchronize the electoral cycles of different levels of government, so that elections are conducted at the same time, preferably once every five years.

Why is there a need for One Nation, One Election in India?

Advocates of One Nation, One Election argue that it can bring several benefits, such as reducing the massive expenditure incurred during frequent elections, minimizing the model code of conduct disruptions that affect governance, improving policy implementation and development work, and avoiding the continuous election mode that often diverts attention from important issues. It aims to streamline the electoral process and create more stability in governance.

What are the challenges associated with One Nation, One Election?

The challenges associated with One Nation, One Election are Constitutional Amendments, Political Consensus, Financial and Administrative Burden and Midterm Dissolutions.

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