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Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declines to join committee formed by govt to examine ‘One Nation, One Election’


Image Source : PTI/FILE Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has declined to join the eight-member committee formed by the central government to examine ‘One Nation, One Election’. This comes hours after an official notification was released on Saturday announcing the committee under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind.

Chowdhury’s reasons to decline the offer 

“I have no hesitation whatsoever in declining to serve on the Committee whose terms of reference have been prepared in a manner to guarantee its conclusions. It is, I am afraid, a total eyewash,” Chowdhury wrote in a letter referring to Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 

“The sudden attempt to thrust a constitutionally suspect, pragmatically non-feasible and logistically unimplementable idea on the nation, months before the general elections, raises serious concerns about ulterior motives of the government,” the letter reads. 

“Furthermore, I find that the current LOP in the Rajya Sabha has been excluded. This is a deliberate insult to the system of Parliamentary democracy. In these circumstances, I have no option but to decline your invitation,” the Congress MP wrote in the letter. 

India Tv - Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Image Source : INDIA TVA letter by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Eight-member committee

On Saturday, the central government announced constituted an eight-member committee to examine ‘One Nation, One Election’. According to an official notification, former President Ram Nath Kovind has been appointed as Chairman of the committee. The committee included seven other members including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Former Rajya Sabha LoP Ghulam Nabi Azad. 

‘An attempt to sabotage India’s parliamentary democracy’

However, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal also termed the High-Level Committee on Simultaneous Elections as an attempt to sabotage India’s parliamentary democracy. He also expressed his displeasure over the appointment of former Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury over Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge. “First, they bring this gimmick to distract from the Adani Mega Scam, unemployment, price rise and other pressing issues of the people. Then, to make matters worse, they try to tilt this committee’s balance by excluding fierce opponents,” he wrote on ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter). 

“What is the reason behind Kharge ji’s exclusion? Is a leader who has risen from such a humble background to the top post of India’s oldest party, leading the entire opposition in the Upper House, an inconvenience for the BJP-RSS?” Venugopal asked. 

Special session of Parliament

The government has decided to call a Special Session of Parliament from September 18-22 where it is speculated that the government could bring a bill for this proposal to take effect. If ‘One Nation, One Election’ does come into effect it could mean that elections for the Lok Sabha and state assemblies across India will be held simultaneously, with voting taking place at the same time. However, the concept of ‘One Nation, One Election’ is not new in India. 

ALSO READ: Amit Shah, Ghulam Nabi Azad included in ‘One Nation, One Election’ panel: Check full list

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