BJP think tank Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini has swung into a mission mode to turn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of ‘One Nation-One Election’ into a reality.

The think tank led by BJP MP Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is organising a two-day national seminar to discuss the idea of holding simultaneous elections in the country on January 21 and January 22 in Mumbai.

Niti Ayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora Kumar and Jagdeep Choker of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) are among key invitees for the seminar. The event will also see BJP National President Amit Shah addressing the gathering.

“This is the mother of all political reforms. We have invited all parties, some of them have given names of their representatives too. Like KC Tyagi from JDU and Bijayant Panda from BJD, several other parties have given their consent for the reform,” says Dr. Sahasrabuddhe.

Among the NDA partners, Shiv Sena will also be sending its representative to the event.

Talking to India Today, Dr. Sahasrabuddhe said, “Several reforms which were once considered impossible have been implemented despite complexities. For example, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government introduced upper limit on the number of cabinet ministers and brought transparency in the voting procedure of Rajya Sabha elections that stopped horse trading.”

“We are exploring the possibility of ‘One Election’ with wide consensus and to achieve this we need to debate and deliberate,” Dr. Sahasrabuddhe added.

“If parties change their views as per political atmosphere it will not be possible to implement the idea. A parliamentary standing committee, headed by a Congress MP, with members from almost all parties presented its report one 'One Election' in 2015. The committee unanimously recommended ‘One Election’ saying all the practical issues needed to be carefully dealt with,” he further said.

Let us not doubt anybody’s intention and build a consensus theoretically before dealing with the practical issues. Let us not look at it from a partisan view. This is not just BJP’s agenda but a national agenda

- Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

Dr. Sahasrabuddhe also pointed, “There is a Niti Ayog report which says we can save a huge amount of money if we bring to reality this mother of all reforms.”

Confirming his participation for the event, JDU spokesperson KC Tyagi also said, “The idea of holding simultaneous elections should not be seen as a BJP agenda. Before this APJ Abdul Kalam, Pranab Mukherjee and several other legal luminaries have supported the idea.”

“Nitish Kumar has also supported the idea. Due to model code of conduct development comes to a halt. Smaller parties like ours find it very tough to contest and campaign for over three months. Misuse of money is another issue, several elections lead to wastage of several hundred crore of rupees when states and general elections are held separately,” Tyagi said.

“Elections used to be held simultaneously, but due to political instability we started having several elections. We will need to make constitutional amendments for ‘One Election’, so it will be better if a political consensus is arrived at towards achieving the idea,” he further said.

Tyagi denied the charge that JDU is supporting the idea of holding simultaneous elections in Bihar along with general elections in 2019, although the state's assembly polls are due in 2020.

He said, “There is a Modi-wave as well as a Nitish-wave, both BJP and RJD have gained after aligning with the JDU. I am sure if elections are held simultaneously, JDU plus NDA will win 38 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats and 242 out of 280 seats in the state assembly.”

He went on to add, “Congress is to be blamed for the situation we are in today. It imposed President rule 70 times. Let me remind that in 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1966 elections were held simultaneously during their rule. So this cannot be the agenda of just one party but a national agenda.”

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