The Working President of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), MK Stalin, has opposed the idea of simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies proposed by the Law Commission.
In a six-page letter to the Commission, Stalin said that the proposal was a “complete misadventure that will decimate the federal structure” of the country.
Referring to the working paper on simultaneous elections posted on the website of the Law Commission of India, the letter said that even though the Parliament is empowered to amend the Constitution, it cannot alter the basic features of the Constitution like federalism. The letter also gave the examples of the judgements delivered by the Supreme Court in cases such as Kesavananda Bharati v. The State of Kerala and Golak Nath v. The State of Punjab.
It further took a dig at the examples cited by the Law Commission in favour of adopting the policy.
“The combined population of Sweden (1 crore), Belgium (1.1 crore), and South Africa (5.5 crore) is less than that of Tamil Nadu. Therefore any comparison of these countries with that of our nation (132 crore) is logically fallacious, completely misleading and unhelpful to the present discourse,” said the letter.
The letter also stated that the power to dissolve the elected legislature is vested with the Governor at the state level and with the President at the national level and any alterations to these powers would directly risk altering the basic structure of the Constitution.
The letter also slammed the suggestion in the working paper that said that the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (Anti-Defection laws) can be altered to provide a stable government. Stating that the anti-defection laws were enacted to prevent elected representatives from switching sides during their tenure, it said that it could lead to horse-trading among legislators.
“The casual treatment of the Tenth schedule in this working paper is a cause for alarm and no justification can ever be advanced to abet defection among elected representatives,” said the letter.
DMK thereby joins the line of political parties from Tamil Nadu that have voiced their opposition to the proposal to conduct simultaneous polls across the country.
The idea of ‘One nation, one poll’ was proposed by the Law Commission on the recommendation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind citing lower expenses to the exchequer.