One nation one election and J&K's political spectrum

One nation one election and J&K's political spectrum

NC general secretary and former minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar. (Image courtesy ANI/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for “one nation one election” has triggered a political debate across Jammu and Kashmir with political spectrum split over the issue.
 
With J&K Assembly having six-year term unlike five-year in rest of the assemblies in the country and the Parliament, regional National Conference says that “one nation, one election” can only be a reality in the state if a constitutional amendment is brought in the legislature and the same is passed with the majority. 
 
“Reducing the term of Assembly from six to five years is possible only when State Assembly passes the amendment to the Constitution,” NC general secretary and former minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar, said.
 
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti appeared to be averse to the proposal of holding simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
 
“India is defined by its diversity in culture, in linguistics, in eating and living habits and therefore politically also this diversity should be allowed to thrive,” she said.
 
CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami termed the proposal fundamentally “anti-federal” and “anti-democratic.” 
 
“It will fade out local issues as elections for state assemblies and Lok Sabha are fought on different issues,” he said.
 
However, BJPs state spokesman Altaf Thakur said that the only purpose to hold polls simultaneously was to help reduce election expenses and bring at par all the states. “What has it to do with the special status (of J&K),” he asked. 
 
State’s noted political commentator Prof Siddiq Wahid said the proposal won’t have impact on the dispute over the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “On the face of it, it does not really impact the issues surrounding the dispute over the State of J&K. However, it does seem to point to a will towards a presidential system of governance, which is a system more vulnerable to supporting personality cults,” he said.
 
A senior official in state Law department, wishing anonymity, said implementation of the proposal would require amendments in both the Constitution of India and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
“Jammu and Kashmir assembly has to decide whether the State will be part of ‘one nation, one election plan’ because the term of Assembly is governed by the J&K constitution. In case of other states, Parliament has the authority,” he said.

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