All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen on Wednesday opposed the one-nation one-election proposal mooted by the BJP-led Central government.

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, who represented his party at the all-party meeting in New Delhi chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the very idea of simultaneous polls for Parliament and State Assemblies were inconsistent with parliamentary democracy and federalism. This idea therefore violated the basic structure of our Constitution, he said.

Posting the views he aired on behalf of AIMIM as a series of tweets in the evening, Owaisi said his party stand reiterated his submission to the Law Commission in June last year against the idea of simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. In the submission, Owaisi described the proposal mooted by the BJP government as a “solution in search of a problem.”

On Wednesday, he said the underlying premise of ‘one nation one election’ was that several elections are somehow harmful to India’s unity and integrity. This is not the case, he said, citing Article 1 of the Constitution which calls India a ‘Union of States’ recognising the country’s diversity and pluralism.

Owaisi further said the Supreme Court held in the SR Bommai case that federalism was the basic structure of the Constitution and that it cannot be abridged. It also said States were not ‘mere appendages of Centre’ and were ‘constituent political units’ with their exclusive executives and legislatures.

He said each State’s distinct linguistic and regional identity was honoured through the VII Schedule of the Constitution and to make government formation of one State contingent on the election schedule of another State, makes a mockery of both principles of democracy and federalism.

Owaisi also dismissed the contentions over the claims of ‘efficiency’, ‘stability’ and ‘cost to the exchequer’ saying these were not sufficient grounds to violate the rights of the States or the electorate. Calling the proposal a made-up ‘problem’, Owaisi said it sought to ‘solve’ the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)-related issues, but the MCC does not prohibit anything that’s developmental or routine in nature. So, no developmental work has to stop at the Centre just because a few States are witnessing elections.

Owaisi also strongly cautioned that simultaneous elections would mean the destruction of regional parties. “Regional parties occupy an important space in our multiparty system and they represent the distinct cultures & languages of many Indian States,” he said.

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