KC Venugopal Slams Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Poll’ Committee as ‘Another Jumla,’

Congress leader KC Venugopal has criticized the central government’s decision to establish a high-level committee to explore the feasibility of ‘One Nation, One Poll,’ suggesting that it is yet another “jumla” (hollow promise) by the ruling BJP. Speaking to ANI on Sunday, Venugopal expressed his concerns, stating, “This is a clear attempt to subvert and sabotage our parliamentary democracy. It is also a ploy to divert public attention from the Adani issue (the latest report on the Adani Group by a global non-profit funded by billionaire investor George Soros). The intention is very clear. This is nothing but another jumla.”

Venugopal also raised objections regarding the composition of the eight-member committee, which will be chaired by former President Ram Nath Kovind. He pointed out that the current Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, has not been included in the committee, while a former Leader of the Opposition has been named in the panel.

Regarding the committee members, apart from former President Kovind, it includes Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Finance Commission chairman NK Singh, former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash C Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve, and former chief vigilance commissioner Sanjay Kothari.

Venugopal expressed dissatisfaction with the inclusion of Azad, a former Congressman, instead of Kharge, stating, “Our only question is — isn’t the current LoP (Rajya Sabha) qualified enough to be a member of the committee? We would like to know why Kharge-ji has not been included in the committee.”

He also criticized the decision to entrust former President Kovind with the task of making recommendations for holding simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls, calling it a diversionary tactic by the BJP. Venugopal said, “These are diversionary tactics of the BJP. Whenever a meeting of the INDIA bloc is around, they come up with such jumlas. We can sense the panic in the BJP.”

This development comes shortly after the central government announced a special session of Parliament from September 18 to 22, coinciding with the two-day Mumbai conclave of the INDIA bloc. Opposition leaders have criticized the government for not consulting with them or informing the Business Advisory Committee before announcing the special session.

The high-level committee is expected to commence its work immediately and provide recommendations at the earliest. Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal will attend the committee meetings as a special invitee.

It’s worth noting that simultaneous elections for state assemblies and the Lok Sabha were held until 1967. However, events in 1968 and 1969 led to the dissolution of some legislative assemblies, followed by the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1970, necessitating changes in electoral schedules for both states and the country.

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