ONOE Bill: Will Telangana assembly polls be delayed?

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Rama Krishna Sangem

“One Nation, One Election” (ONOE) Bill, that is considered by the Centre in the coming special session of Parliament from September 18-22, may impact the assembly elections of five states, including Telangana. The details of the Bill are still not available, as its wording and phrasing is at works. If it is a Constitutional amendment Bill, then it needs approval by both the Houses of Parliament – Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

There are reports of this session being used for some other Bills – like granting statehood to Jammu & Kashmir, or Women Reservation etc. Or as some seniors in the government speculate, the Parliament might pass a resolution greeting PM Modi on successful conduct of G- 20 summit (which will be held by second week of September) and Chandrayaan-3. But, more credible of them all is ONOE Bill – for its political significance to PM Modi.

Narendra Modi led BJP government may easily have its way in Lok Sabha, but it needs baking of allies in Rajya Sabha. The allies, which have been helping it in the Upper House for the last years may be ready to do so, as they have little to lose. These allies – YCR and BJD which goes to polls with LS in next May will not have any problem to sail with the Centre. “We are expecting the Bill to pass through in the Parliament,” a senior BJP source told Excel India.


Two possibilities – To advance or delay

There are two options before the Centre on the upcoming polls of five state assemblies. One, to advance Lok Sabha elections by five months and club them with those of these five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. Two, to delay these five states elections by five months to hold them along with those of LS and AP etc.

As per the schedule, the five states assemblies go to polls in December this year. The LS along with AP and Orissa will go to elections early next year. Now the entire focus is on these assembly and LS elections only. We don’t know the exact provisions of the Bill with regard to the fate of other assemblies like UP, Maharashtra or even Karnataka. Sources say, different effective dates are being considered to different states to bring them on a similar line.


INDIA and other parties will oppose

There is bound to be strong resistance to the ONOE Bill from the Opposition camp. The INDIA front, including Congress has already made its stand known on such proposal which came up earlier too. “India is a vast country and it is just not possible to hold simultaneous elections to all states and LS as per a single calendar. Our Constitution too doesn’t allow such experiments,” said Mamata Banerjee sometime back.

Some BJP leaders said that the final details of the ONOE Bill is still being drafted – like what will happen to the states where elections were held recently- for example Karnataka or UP. Also there is a view that such a Bill might be challenged by INDIA in Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over even on a Constitutional amendment Bill. More details are expected by next week.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at excelindiaweb123@gmail.com