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Looming dilemma

Looming dilemma

While the Government relies on the positivity of having simultaneous elections, the opposition, through their separate vested interests, does not seem to concur with the idea. The former's opinion of cutting down the cost of elections in terms of money and time seems to be the cornerstone, whereas the latter's resistance should not come in as a surprise given their political agendas. Therefore, the current no consensus scenario between political parties is an easily comprehended affair. However, reviewing the prospect from a neutral perspective may highlight the salient feature. Primarily, simultaneous elections give us the opportunity to not just think about a party leading the nation, but a party doing it comprehensively with both State Assemblies and Lok Sabha functioning in sync to provide optimum output. But, that's only when the same party wins both elections. It should be understood that while voting for someone to lead the nation, it is unlikely that the vote would go the other way when it comes to the state, from an ordinary citizen's perspective, or vice-versa. Allegiances are sworn by people harbouring individual interests over National interest. A common person seldom finds himself powerful in governance, other than the days of polls where her/his value is heightened. Secondly, the party coming in power can be assured of a term filled with robust governance, securing power at both levels, by entirely focussing on the development of the nation rather than competition that is usually sparked due to state Assembly polls every year, thereby diverting attention. Focus on collective and qualitative governance can place the nation to unprecedented heights as put against bitter rivalry that causes collateral damage, victimising citizens, as seen in the case of Centre and Delhi government in the recent weeks.

On the flip side of the coin, simultaneous polls bring out the necessities of mammoth manpower and resources alongside huge expenses at once, given the election spending of parties, which has the capacity to single-handedly slow down the nation on the economic front. For instance, government spending shot up for the last Lok Sabha elections resulting in fuel inflation. Moreover, given the Federalism that conjoins this country, the existence of several localised parties and their vested interests particular to their area of dominance would be defeated considering how their presence at the Centre being highly unlikely and influence of the same Centre on the states having the same party in power. These localised parties perform well in their small spaces, however, replicating the same effect on the entire nation might stand cumbersome for them. Conversely, voting for a party which is strong at the Centre but not in a particular state might turn out to be troublesome.

Just about anything else, even this is subjected to the pros and con scenario wherein deciding which side has more weight will turn the tide of the outcome. While the positives lure us to hope for the prevalence of this idea, the negatives caution us against the change that we may not be ready for or understand properly yet. On one hand, we want robust governance but on the other, we want the autonomy that federalism has empowered our states in the Indian Union.

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