During the campaign for the just-concluded urban local body elections, ADMK’s Edappadi Palaniswami had said that Assembly elections could be held in 2024 denoting ‘one nation, one election’. “The DMK regime has got only 27 new moons (amavasyas) to go,” he claimed.
We would have thought of them as a ‘fantastic joke’. But it reflected a slave’s deep faith in his master.
The fascistic RSS-BJP, which is in power under the leadership of Modi, has been carrying out various legal preparatory works and experiments to achieve its Hindu Rashtra goal. The Citizenship Amendment Act, the repeal of the Kashmir’s Special Status, the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, the Prevention of Love Jihad Act, the Prevention of Religious Conversion Act, the New Education (Saffron) Policy, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the NIA, the Property Damage Prevention Act, and the linking of Aadhaar with voter ID can be cited as examples of this.
In line with that, it is now going to implement the ‘One Nation, One Election’. The ‘one nation, one election’ method is to hold simultaneous elections once in five years to the Parliament, Assemblies and local bodies across the country.
From the very beginning, the BJP government has taken several initiatives to bring this about. Speaking on National Voters’ Day this year, Modi said, “One nation, one election is not a topic of discussion; That is the need of the hour; Frequent elections are an impediment to the ‘development’ of the country”.
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Since 2014, the BJP, in its election manifesto, has put forward the ‘one nation, one election’ agenda. In 2017, NITI Aayog had formulated plans for its implementation. In 2018, the Law Commission had recommended that certain changes should be made in the Constitution for implementing ‘One Nation, One Election’.
The idea of ‘one nation, one election’ requires a single electoral roll. As a first step towards its implementation, the Modi government passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Parliament late last year which permits linking of voter ID with Aadhaar number.
On March 10, Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra had said, “One Nation One Election is a good suggestion but this needs a change in the constitution. The Election Commission is fully prepared and is capable of conducting simultaneous elections”.
Ever since the Modi government started campaigning for it, a section of BJP opposers said that ‘one nation, one election’ is against the Constitution. Therefore, they were innocently saying that the Modi government will not be able to implement it.
The Election Commission of India is said to be an independent body. The Chief Election Commissioner’s speech makes us feel that ‘there is no need for such a fantasy’. It is against the democratic system for a top government official to express his opinion in favour of the ruling party on a law that has not yet been enacted by the Parliament.
Similarly, on December 18 last year, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister held an online meeting with Election Commission officials. It became a topic of debate. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was obvious that like the CBI and the ED, the Election Commission was also a captive puppet of the BJP.
The BJP and its supporters have been giving a number of reasons as to why the ‘one nation, one election’ system should be introduced. Every year, there are elections somewhere in the country. The government spends heavily on conducting these elections. As a result, the development work of the country is also affected. It is because of frequent elections that people’s participation in elections is low. They are stacking up lies to make us admit that if elections are held only once in five years, people will vote in large numbers.
First, let’s see how it is a blatant lie to claim that it costs too much to hold elections.
The Centre for Media Studies conducted a survey on election expenditure. A total of ₹30,000 crore was spent on the 2014 elections. This expenditure is the total expenditure incurred by the government, political parties and the candidates together. Of this, the government spending was just ₹3,500 crore, i.e., only 11 percent of the total cost.
Although this is only for parliamentary elections, it can be seen from this that the total election expenditure of the government is relatively low.
But since Modi came to power, the total amount of non-performing assets (NPAs) that had been written off is ₹10,72,000 crore. They are saying that it is because of the conduction of elections that the coffers are being emptied.
A total of ₹60,000 crore has been spent on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Of this, 45 per cent, i.e., ₹27,000 crore, is spent by the BJP alone. It may be because of this, they say that elections cost too much!
Next, let’s see how ‘development works’ get affected. We have to accept this point. Before that, we need to define what according to the BJP is ‘development work’. With clusters of farmer suicides, unemployment unseen in 45 years and the annihilation of small scale industries — the Modi regime is a hell for the working people.
GST, demonetisation, Bharatmala, Sagarmala, methane gas project, expansion of nuclear power plant, amendment to the farm laws, privatisation of public sector, waiver of lakhs of crores of bad loans, tax concessions for the corporates, etc., are some of the things that the Modi government is doing to make the corporate bosses delighted. This is what they call ‘development work’.
According to a statistics, Adani’s net worth rose by 261 percent in 2020-2021 alone. Similarly, the number of super-rich people in India has risen by 39 percent. The BJP’s regret is that there may not be a steady growth in these ‘development works’ due to frequent elections.
Take, for example, the implementation of the farm laws. The farm laws were brought in to bail out the corporate capitalists and carve out the Indian agriculture among them. The farmers fought against this for a year. In this struggle, 750 farmers became martyrs.
Modi, however, has withdrawn the farm laws just because elections in five states are due (even if this is just another reason). This has led to Modi’s friends (Ambani and Adani) getting mad at him. That is why it is necessary for the BJP to wipe out frequent elections.
While the frequently held elections are not conducive to the interests of their patrons, the Brahmin-Bania corporate clique, on one hand, it is also inconsistent with the RSS’s definition of ‘Bharat Desh’ on the other hand.
After the 1947 regime change, the RSS was the only organisation that opposed the reorganization of states on the basis of language and the creation of state governments. Their leader Golwalkar, in his book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’, said, “For the integrity of our holy motherland, a Unitary State – One Country, One Legislature, One Executive Centre running the administration throughout the country – is required”
The state governments, which represent different nationalities and have certain powers in their hands, are against the Hindu Rashtra Authority Centre. The territory had to change again into various princely states as it had been, prior to the British domination; There should be a local authority at the village level. The form of the Hindu Rashtra state is that there should be a single empire that controls all those village powers. It was in this form that the brahmanical caste tyranny and feudal exploitation were preserved for over two thousand years.
Even though they say that elections once in five years, the aim of the RSS-BJP is to abolish elections altogether and establish its fascist dictatorship – The Hindu Rashtra. ‘One Nation, One Election’ is just a beginning.
A 2015 study by the IDFC Institute found “a 77% chance that the winning political party or alliance will win both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in that state when held simultaneously”. Because during the nationwide elections, only national issues will be discussed. Many scholars have been saying that the people will focus their attention only on the national issues.
From the very beginning, the RSS-BJP has instilled in the minds of the majority the idea that only Modi, with a 56-inch chest, has the power to thwart attacks from ‘Muslim terrorists’ at home and attacks by Pakistan and China from the outside.
Moreover, as of now, no party leader has the image of a ‘saviour’ who can challenge Modi. It was for the same reason that Modi won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections again. The Pulwama attack was of good use to the BJP at that time. It is not possible to defeat the jingoism and religious bigotry that the RSS-BJP whips up in every election, by standing within the elections.
Both legally and illegally, the RSS-BJP is in the final stages of its work in establishing its dream of Hindu Rashtra barbarianism. “One nation, one election’’ is a part of the legal process.
We are living in the imminent peril of establishment of a fascist dictatorship. It is time for the electoral parties, who are strategising ‘how to defeat the BJP in the upcoming election’, and the people who consider this pseudo-democracy as stable by saying “the Constitution cannot be shaken”, should wake up from their dreams.