The Congress today said that the regional parties from small states like Meghalaya will face the heat if the ‘one nation, one election’ proposal is implemented in India.
Speaking to this newspaper, Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) secretary Manuel Badwar said that if there is ‘one nation, one election’ in the country, the biggest losers will be the regional parties.
“When you are a regional party and you don’t have so much funds and resources then it will be difficult. The money that will be involved will be so heavy and a party like the BJP that has accumulated so much money and wealth will be able to bulldoze everybody and push on only their agenda while voters will be left confused having to push so many buttons at once,” Badwar said.
When asked about leaders of some of the regional parties in the State who spoke in favour of ‘one nation, one election’ concept, Badwar said, “I’m sure they also have their own understanding and logic of everything but the logic is, how much power you have. It might not impact you on the first or second election, but what will happen over a period of 20-30 years. We cannot be shortsighted.”
“I just hope that the regional parties change their mind because we also need the regional forces in the State. I just hope that they look at it more deeply and I request them to relook at whatever their thought process is and try to understand from a longer term perspective on this matter,” Badwar added.
According to him, even if the ideologies differ, leaders of the State should be able to have healthy debates “because that’s how democracy is set up”.
The MPCC secretary also ridiculed the claim that ‘one nation’ one election’ will save thousands of crore of rupees when at the end of the day, according to him the BJP is stifling the entire democratic setup of the country and trying only to benefit themselves and the party.
“What kind of saving of money are they talking about if the one nation, one election comes into force?” he asked.
Stating that there will be several difficulties for the Election Commission to hold one election across the country, Badwar said, “In fact, they will not even have the resources just for policing. Just for the Uttar Pradesh election they have to do it for over a period of one month because they don’t have the resources.”
“The ground reality is that this is just an ill conceived concept by the Modi government just like the withdrawal of Rs 500 denomination. It’s just a show and bluff and there is no content and no understanding,” he added.
Stating that during the G20 meeting in New Delhi, every two meters of Delhi is filled with Modi’s poster, Badwar said that all can see the amount of spending Modi is doing for the elections that will impact the psychology of each and every voter.
He said that muscle power will also be used in each and every state to ensure that the BJP reaps the best results “because all they want is to push their own agenda”.