Parliament’s Mystery Session: Will Modi’s Winning Streak Continue?

Parliament's Mystery Session: Will Modi's Winning Streak Continue?
The Centre is likely to introduce a bill on ‘One Nation, One Election’ in the special session of Parliament called from September 18 to 22. Photo Credit RASHEED KIDWAI

A special session of Parliament is scheduled to happen from September 18 to 22. The exact topics for discussion are not clear yet and will be decided by a group of 15 members, including opposition members, led by Speaker Om Birla. They will share the agenda before the session starts.

A government with a big majority can hold elections for the main governing body without asking Parliament. This time, the special Parliament session needs to focus on either important or less important topics. Each option would take around six months to finish. Topics like the Uniform Civil Code and a universal income scheme are important, while others like the Women’s Reservation Bill, population control law, and “One Nation, One Election” could be tricky.

People are guessing that elections in about 12 states might happen at the same time as the main elections. These states could have elections around six months before or after May 2024. Some of these states are Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand.

It might be hard to make states like Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka, or Delhi hold elections suddenly. This is tough in both politics and law. The benefits of having all elections at the same time should be looked at carefully, because recent state elections have had different results.

Many important people in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, want both the main elections and state elections to happen together. BJP leaders like Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Yogi Adityanath also support this. In 2018, Sidharth Nath Singh, who was Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time, made a report saying elections should happen at the same time. In Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan agreed with a group of “experts” who suggested this too.

In February 2018, chief ministers and deputy chief ministers from 19 BJP states met in Delhi to talk about having elections together. They said that while it’s hard to have all elections together, maybe state elections could happen at the same time as the main elections.

According to the rules, a government that has the most people in the main governing body can make elections happen six months early. But there are no rules to delay elections. For example, if elections in a state go past December 8, 2023, then the president can take control and the governor will run the state.

Some opposition leaders in Mumbai don’t think having all elections together is a good idea. They say if the government tries to do it in a way that’s against the rules, they’ll go to the Supreme Court.

Some people think that the INDIA alliance might be causing problems for the Modi government. They feel that having a special Parliament session shows that Modi’s successes might not be enough for the 2024 elections.

In Madhya Pradesh, many BJP leaders, like Chief Minister Chouhan, like the idea of having all elections together. They think Modi’s campaign could help when people are unhappy with the government. But if the governor takes control, Chouhan could face problems too.

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