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5th September 2023 (10 Topics)

A ‘distraction’ ballon in the winds of federalism

Context

The 'one nation one election' proposal by the Indian government is being criticized as deeply flawed and unfeasible. Arguments are being made that the government's reasons for pushing this proposal are fallacious and suggests that it is merely a distraction from other pressing issues.

Flawed Proposal and Fallacious Reasons

  • Critique: The 'one nation one election' proposal is deemed flawed and unworkable, serving as a distraction from other pressing issues.
  • Questioning the 'Permanent Campaign' Argument: The government's argument that India is in a 'permanent campaign' due to frequent elections is challenged. However, not all states have elections simultaneously, so it doesn't affect the entire nation at once.
  • National Parties' Prioritization: It questions the notion that national parties are under constant election pressure, emphasizing that if these parties choose to prioritize elections over governance, it's their issue, not the nation's.

Attack on Federalism and Misleading Arguments

  • Undermining India's Federalism: The proposal is criticized for attacking India's federalism, as it would take away the power of state Chief Ministers to recommend early elections.
  • Debunking the Simultaneous Elections Argument: The idea of reverting to simultaneous elections, as seen between 1951-52 and 1967, is debunked as a happenstance rather than a deliberate design, and it's argued that India's political diversity requires flexibility.
  • Cost-Saving Deception: Cost-saving is another argument put forth for the proposal, but the article counters this by stating that the savings are minimal, and the government could save more by cutting other expenditures.

Impractical and Ideological Divide

  • Practical Challenges and Constitutional Viability: The proposal is characterized as politically unfeasible, administratively unworkable, and constitutionally unviable.
  • Lack of Faith in India's Federal Democratic Structure: The government's pursuit of this idea is portrayed as a lack of faith in India's federal democratic structure, highlighting the ideological divide in Indian politics between a unified nation and diverse states.
  • Unitarism under the Guise of Efficiency: Such an approach seeks to impose unitarism under the guise of efficiency.
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