Kolkata: In a strongly-worded letter to the high-level panel on electoral reforms, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has unequivocally rejected the proposition of 'One Nation, One Election'. Citing concerns for democratic principles and the autonomy of state governments, Banerjee expressed her regret at what she perceives to be an attempt to undermine the democratic fabric of the nation. This move comes as a staunch opposition to the idea that could potentially synchronize state and national elections into a single electoral event.
Banerjee's letter emphasizes that aligning all state assembly elections with the general elections would disrupt the electoral mandate given by the people to their state legislatures, known as Vidhan Sabhas. She asserts that prematurely drawing states without impending elections into a unified poll would be a breach of the people's trust, who have granted their representatives a full term to fulfill their pledges.
The West Bengal leader goes on to say, "The essence of the Indian electoral system lies in its diverse and periodic elections, allowing people to express their judgment on the performance of the incumbent governments." "By stripping states of their right to hold elections as per their scheduled timelines, we would be encroaching upon the rights of electors in deciding their state governments," she added, highlighting the potential violation of the principle of federalism.
Banerjee's opposition joins a chorus of skepticism from various political corners, who argue that the 'One Nation, One Election' concept could compromise the independent electoral identity of states, affecting accountability and governance specific to each state's needs and aspirations.
This is an attempt to override the constitutional and democratic practices that have held our nation together. Political diversity and electoral federalism are our strengths, not weaknesses. Respecting the electorate's mandate is imperative.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's position signals a pivotal moment in the ongoing debate around electoral reforms, setting the stage for further discussions on balancing national cohesion with state individuality. As the letter from the West Bengal Chief Minister reaches the high-level panel, it remains to be seen how this argument will shape the future of India's electoral landscape.```