Trending: Call for Papers Volume 4 | Issue 4: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]



The concept of “one nation, one election” advocates for simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies rather than ongoing, separate elections. This implies that voters will choose representatives to the Lok Sabha and State assemblies on a single day, simultaneously, or in stages, depending on the circumstances[1]. This paper examines the possible favorable and unfavorable effects of holding simultaneous elections throughout India. The analysis concludes that by lowering expenses associated with election administration, security deployments, and governance interruptions, synchronized elections might result in significant cost savings for state and federal governments. Annual cost savings are predicted to reach up to ₹45 billion[2]. State governments would benefit from spending more time on governance than campaigning, even though national issues may take precedence over local issues. Synced elections offer greater political predictability and policy stability to businesses. On the other hand, protracted one-party control may lessen public accountability. Similarly, national parties are thought to gain an advantage over regional parties. Concurrent elections generally increase political and economic stability and support better governance. However, significant hazards are associated with diminished accountability and loss of regional autonomy. The research indicates that synchronized elections would be advantageous, but they could necessitate additional electoral changes to lessen any potential adverse effects on local representation and government accountability. This paper offers a thorough, fact-based analysis of the anticipated advantages, disadvantages, costs, and benefits of the One Nation One Election in India.

Keywords- Election, administration, accountability, electoral reforms, representation


The One Nation-One Election theory is the foundation of all current government initiatives in India. The idea behind the GST is “One Nation, One Tax.” The new education policy includes the “One Nation-One Curriculum” concept. “One Nation-One Election” proposes simultaneously scheduling all state legislature elections and the Lok Sabha elections. The idea of concurrent elections is familiar in India. There was a first election in 1951–1952, contemporaneous with the country’s independence and the constitution’s ratification. Elections were conducted simultaneously from 1951–1952 to 1967–1968. After that, there were disruptions. When the fourth Lok Sabha was dissolved early, the idea ended. In a perfect world, someone who is public-spirited, honest, and wants to represent the people would be able to run for office and win the election as their representative.

Article 324 of the Constitution requires the Election Commission of India to oversee, direct, and control elections for the offices of President, Vice President, both houses of Parliament, State Legislative Councils, and Assemblies. As of right now, numerous electoral bodies hold elections. The State Election Commission (SEC), facilitated by Articles 73 and 74, holds state-level polls every five years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed an electoral reform called One Nation-One Election for India[3]. India’s federal democracy allows the federal government to exercise its rights and obligations while the state governments do the same. A balance is maintained between centralization and decentralization, autocracy and democracy, by parliament and state assemblies.

Decoding ‘Simultaneous Elections’ in India

The notion of coordinating and harmonizing the dates of elections throughout India has been the subject of intense discussion in recent years. Known as “One Nation One Election,” this idea aims to arrange the electoral calendar so that Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, and local government elections occur concurrently or coincide in a prearranged cycle[4].

The electoral reform’s proponents contend that it will save a substantial amount of money, enhance governance, lessen pressure on political parties, restrain populist policies, and foster a more cogent perspective on national issues. By bypassing the election cycle, governments can concentrate on long-term policymaking rather than immediate electoral concerns[5]. The current state and federal governments are always running campaigns, which makes administration difficult.

Holding elections simultaneously has also received support from the Election Commission of India (ECI). They emphasize how the complex election cycle places a significant administrative and logistical strain on the ECI since it must frequently send out personnel, supplies, and security personnel. Furthermore, governance and policy execution are disrupted when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is enforced for extended periodsdue to spaced state elections.

According to opponents, simultaneous elections will weaken federalism, dilute regional concerns, and decrease state government responsibility. Significant constitutional modifications and broad political consensus will be needed to enable synchronization. Parties in the region feel that national parties gain disproportionately from it. During a set tenure, incumbent governments would have excessive power and fewer incentives to carry out their duties and resolve complaints.

The recent publication of a draft report by the Law Commission of India assessed different approaches to ‘One Nation One Election.’ The most drastic course of action would be to modify the Constitution to change the Lok Sabha and state assemblies into fixed, concurrent five-year mandates[6]. This will require simultaneous elections but will also provide challenges about hung assemblies, no-confidence motions, and house dissolution.

A second choice would be to have both federal and state elections simultaneously, but with some flexibility to allow states to diverge by a few months. There are issues with this staggered synchrony model regarding security availability, MCC enforcement over longer timeframes, and the feasibility of grouping only a few state elections.

The third choice is to hold elections in two stages: one for state assemblies and one for the Lok Sabha. But this lessens the supposed advantages of election synchronization. The Law Commission study emphasizes that there must be cross-party discussions to determine viability.

‘One Nation One Election’ is critically dependent on political consensus, which still needs to be discovered. Election cycle alignment attempts in the past have yet to maintain consistency. Elections to the legislature and assemblies were held separately after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1970. Synchronization may be disturbed by future motions for dissolution or no-confidence. Given the federal nature of politics today, constitutional modifications also provide a significant obstacle.

In conclusion, even though holding elections at the same time seems sensible, there are real challenges that must be taken into consideration. There are issues with regional representation, accountability, campaign focus, and power allocation between the federal government and the states when a large and diverse country like India’s elections are scheduled to coincide with its national system[7]. Although the change has substantial governance concerns that must be carefully considered, it also offers significant benefits. Reaching a workable consensus remains the main obstacle as the discussion progresses.

Advantages of Holding Simultaneous Elections

Cutting Down on Government Spending

The administration and planning of elections regularly cost the government hundreds of crores. Most of the money is spent on security, salaries, and arrangements. Voting simultaneously will save the government a ton of money it may utilize for other purposes.

More Time to Work on Development

Because elections are held at irregular intervals, political parties and governments are perpetually in election mode. Parties are put off making adjustments or decisions based on pressing issues, upsetting and warping agendas, and depriving the public of well-defined policies. The ministers can dedicate four years to implementing policies and serving their constituencies through simultaneous elections.

Improved Use of Security Forces

In addition to funds, another crucial resource that needs to be readily available in ample quantities is the deployment of security personnel. Holding the Lok Sabha and state legislature elections simultaneously will free up the security officers, who are taken away from their core duty for each election.

Strategies for Saving Money

The government’s financial savings are the primary justification for concurrent elections. The country will save substantial money if it implements the “One Nation, One Election” concept. There are 4120 MLAs spread throughout the 28 states and the 8 UTs. For larger assemblies, the maximum expenditure is Rs. 40 lakhs. If every state and union territory had a poll, the expense would be over Rs. 11 billion[8]. Every year, elections are usually held in about five states.

Faster Developmental Tasks

It has been observed that when the election model code of conduct is in force, new projects are not launched. Thus, a single election will ensure uniformity in federal and state government policies and actions.

Evaluating Black Money

It’s no secret that “dark money” is used in elections. Some black money was converted into white money during the country’s elections. Therefore, if elections are held all year long, the nation might see the emergence of a parallel economy.

Effectiveness of governance

The government would not need to attract the public with alluring programs and caste- and religion-based policies if elections were not conducted annually. State and federal governments do not need to create an attractive annual budget to make tough choices that will help the economy.

Conserving Time

Elections are held all year round, which is a vast, challenging, and time-consuming task. To guarantee seamless, tranquil, and unbiased elections, the Indian Election Commission needs the backing of a substantial quantity of poll workers and the armed forces. A single election will also save a ton of money and time. Additionally, the security forces will be more effectively employed for internal goals.

Advantageous to the government’s revenue

The notion that simultaneous elections will ease the strain on the government’s finances is one of the primary arguments in favor of them. India will save a lot of money if it takes this action. The budget limit rises from 28 to 40 lakhs for larger assemblies. Thus, the entire expense would be about $11 billion if every state and UT held a single election. Currently, approximately five states have elections every year. The “one nation, one election” approach makes sense in part because of the previously described factor. Concurrent elections would aid in resource conservation since they would lessen the total time and resources required for regular elections. It is also expected that a more significant number of voters will leave their houses to cast ballots.

Disadvantages of holding ‘Simultaneous Elections’[9]

Challenging for local parties

The regional parties will not be able to compete with national parties regarding election expenditures and electoral strategy. Local concerns and people largely influence elections for state assemblies. Thus, a one-time election will not receive support from regional parties. This brings up the question of political consensus once more.

Election Results Delayed

Currently, almost all regional parties are advocating for ballot-based elections. When elections are conducted only once. Since everything co-occurs, much time passes before the results are made public. Several polls are being conducted all around the country. The process of creating a consolidated product will take an extended period.

The Need for Massive Resources and Equipment

Elections to the Lok Sabha, UTs, and states will be held simultaneously, which will be a challenging task because, as we know, India is the world’s biggest democracy.

State and National concerns taken combined.

Combining local and national issues will also be necessary to account for both elections. The nation would be eclipsed by national issues, making lawmakers less interested. A benefit of “One India, One Election” would be development if it could be implemented while adhering to the appropriate laws and rules and meeting the rising demand for capable security and administrative staff. Inevitably, it will create more problems than it would resolve.

Cost Effectiveness is Another Challenge

Imposing a stringent cap on election expenses would address the broader dilemma around the expense of holding separate elections. The parties regularly spent before the model code of conduct was implemented[10]. Difficult Task: Conducting elections for the Lok Sabha, assembly, and panchayats takes work. Furthermore, there could not be sufficient administrative and security staff to manage the process. Reduced presence at the polling places may result in increased strife and unchecked corruption.

Amendments to the Constitution

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha must have extraordinary majorities for these changes to be approved. The state would have a challenge getting consensus throughout the many political organizations, given that they all have biases. The guidelines have to go through a strict procedure before being altered since they serve as the basis for the constitution and its implementation.

Not conceivable

Panchayat, assembly, and Lok Sabha elections are more challenging than they seem. There might need to be more administrative, logistical, security, or equipment. A lack of awareness at the polling places may result in increased challenges and unchecked corruption, including booth capturing.


Each state has created its structure for the political battle based on federal principles prohibiting concurrent elections. Consequently, simultaneous elections affect a state’s political independence.

Demanding on resources

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) has eliminated the possibility of holding elections due to a significant lack of resources. The voter-verifiable paper audit (VVPAT) technology and electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be vital for simultaneous polls. Making sure that VVPATs are available in every state is another logistical challenge.

Practically every regional party calls for usingballot papers for electoral procedures. Election results will be announced much later if held in a single session. Additionally, because India is a union of states and the central government provides significant funding to the governments of the same party in the states, IDFC estimates that there is a 77% likelihood that an Indian voter will vote for the same party in both the state and the federal elections when they are held simultaneously[11].

A Brief Analysis

There are valid points made on both sides of the debate over the alignment of electoral cycles to have simultaneous Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections once every five years. Evaluation reveals clear benefits for voters, economics, and governance, but the trade-offs between federalism and diversity must be carefully considered[12].

Potential Benefits:

  • By minimizing disruptions and allowing for uninterrupted policy execution during five-year government periods, simultaneous polls can optimize governance efficiency.
  • Rather than continuously devoting time and money to electioneering, the federal and state governments should concentrate more on economic development and social programs.
  • Increased macroeconomic and investor confidence results in improved policy stability and consistency, accelerating growth.
  • By coordinating campaign activities rather than conducting numerous independent surveys, the Election Commission and political parties can minimize their logistical costs.
  • One single national election, as opposed to several state and federal elections, improves the efficiency of security plans, law enforcement, and administrative logistics.

Possible Dangers

  • Both Regional aspirations and federal accountability may be weakened by over-centralization, which links State election results to opinions of the federal government.
  • During coordinated campaigns, regional and state-specific issues risk overshadowing national issues, ideologies, and leadership narratives.
  • Asynchronous electoral cycles will lessen the impetus on the federal and state governments to function and reform, which will cause complacency during protracted terms of unanimous rule. Simultaneous elections will impose strict 5-year terms and reduce accountability to voters through frequent opportunities to voice dissatisfaction against non-performing authorities.

Thus, even if concurrent surveys are beneficial, a solid national consensus must be established by balancing accountability and continuity, stability and change, and efficiency and diversity. It will be necessary to reinforce institutional safeguards against abusing extended power without being restrained by electoral constraints. In conclusion, a rational chance exists to maximize governance focus and resources and provide national-state policy synergy through aligning electoral cycles. However, issues with India’s federal polity, voter responsibility, and diversity must be addressed for a smooth national transition to a simultaneous election cycle.


“One Nation, One Election” is a sophisticated and comprehensive concept. Although it seeks to alleviate some of the problems associated with the frequency and expense of elections, careful consideration of political, constitutional, and logistical difficulties would be necessary for its successful implementation[13]. Realizing this idea will need reaching an agreement between political parties and efficiently handling the complexities. This problem is still being discussed, and any resolution will depend on how eager all parties are to work through the difficulties and find workable answers.

[1] Kumar, V. (2023, January 1). One nation one election: Indian perspective. International Journal of Political Science and Governance, 5(1), 165–168. https://doi.org/10.33545/26646021.2023.v5.i1c.217

[2] Aarif Mohd waza. (2023, November 30). Assessing the Feasibility and Implications of Implementing One Nation One Election in India. International Journal of Advanced Technology and Social Sciences, 1(3), 185–196. https://doi.org/10.59890/ijatss.v1i3.694

[3] https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/one-nation-one-election-former-president-kovind-led-panel-invites-suggestions-from-public-101704532850950.html

[4]Decoding One Nation, One Election. (n.d.). Drishti IAS. https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-editorials/decoding-one-nation-one-election

[5] https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/one-nation-one-election-panel-seeks-public-input-on-simultaneous-polls-framework/article67712519.ece

[6] Gupta, S. (2024, January 6). ‘One Nation, One Election’: Ex-Prez Kovind-led panel invites public suggestions. Hindustan Times. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/one-nation-one-election-former-president-kovind-led-panel-invites-suggestions-from-public-101704532850950.html

[7] Bhavsar, K. P. (2023, September 1). “One Nation, One Election”: What does it mean? See benefits, disadvantages and other details here | Mint. Mint. https://www.livemint.com/politics/one-nation-one-election-what-does-it-mean-see-benefits-disadvantages-and-other-details-here-11693544025947.html

[8] Katju, M. (2023, October 6). One Nation, One Election: What will its Implementation Mean? The India Forum. https://www.theindiaforum.in/politics/one-nation-one-election-what-will-its-implementation-mean

[9] Pandit, S. (2023, July 1). One nation one election: Challenges in the Indian government system. International Journal of Political Science and Governance, 5(2), 206–209. https://doi.org/10.33545/26646021.2023.v5.i2d.281

[10] Mayengbam, C. (2023, August 31). What does;One Nation, One Election; mean? Pros and cons of simultaneous polls. India Today. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/what-does-one-nation-one-election-mean-pros-and-cons-of-simultaneous-polls-2429335-2023-08-31

[11]One Nation One Election: What Are The Disadvantages And Major Constitutional Challenges? Explained. (2023, September 2). Latest News, Breaking News, LIVE News, Top News Headlines, Viral Video, Cricket LIVE, Sports, Entertainment, Business, Health, Lifestyle and Utility News | India.Com. https://www.india.com/news/india/one-nation-one-election-advantages-disadvantages-and-major-constitutional-challenges-explained-6281888/

[12]One Nation One Election: What Are The Disadvantages And Major Constitutional Challenges? Explained. (2023, September 2). Latest News, Breaking News, LIVE News, Top News Headlines, Viral Video, Cricket LIVE, Sports, Entertainment, Business, Health, Lifestyle and Utility News | India.Com. https://www.india.com/news/india/one-nation-one-election-advantages-disadvantages-and-major-constitutional-challenges-explained-6281888/

[13] Aarif Mohd waza. (2023, November 30). Assessing the Feasibility and Implications of Implementing One Nation One Election in India. International Journal of Advanced Technology and Social Sciences, 1(3), 185–196. https://doi.org/10.59890/ijatss.v1i3.694