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Kovind chairs first official meeting of 'one nation, one election' panel, discusses several points


New Delhi, Sep 23
The first official meeting of the ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee took place on Saturday under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind during which the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and the political parties.

The first meeting was held at the Jodhpur Hostel here, which was attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, committee member and former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad among others.

In this highly-anticipated meet-up on Saturday, it was discussed to hold deliberations with the political parties and get their views on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.

The source said that the committee members also decided that if any of the political parties want to seek an appointment with the committee, it will be allowed to give their suggestions.

The source further said that the committee members also discussed to get the suggestions and views of the stakeholders like the Election Commission of India and other bodies.

The source also said that the members, during the meeting also primarily discussed how the committee will function and on which issues it need to have deliberations with everyone to build a consensus on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.

The source said that the panel also discussed how it needs to examine various scenarios for the simultaneous polling and make recommendations on how situations like a hung assembly or adoption of a no-confidence motion will be tackled.

The meeting comes after the Narendra Modi-led BJP government constituted a committee headed by former president Kovind.

Besides Kovind, Azad and Shah, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former chairman of the 15th Finance Commission N.K Singh, former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former Chief vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari are the other names, who are part of the eight-member panel.

However, Chowdhury declined an invitation to be part of the eight-member committee formed by the Union government to examine the 'One nation, One election' concept.

The committee will look into the feasibility of holding not only Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously, but also elections to municipalities and panchayats, according to the gazette notification.

The committee will analyse and recommend possible solutions linked to simultaneous elections if there is a hung House, no-confidence motion, defection, or any such other event.

A single electoral roll and identity card for voters valid for the national, state, civic body and panchayat elections will be explored, the government said in the notification.

The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on many occasions have made statements on the need for 'One Nation, One Election'.