Chennai: The Tamil Nadu State Assembly unanimously passed two resolutions on Wednesday, one urging the Union Government to not implement the idea of ‘one nation, one election’ and two, to not to reduce the number of people’s representatives in Assemblies and Parliament through the process of delimitation if the population in the State has come down in the last census. 

If the census revealed a reduction in the population it was not fair to penalise those States that had followed the family planning scheme and restricted population explosion by reducing their representation in Parliament and Assemblies, a resolution moved by Chief Minister M K Stalin said.

The ‘One Nation, One Election’ concept went against the idea of democracy and federalism and it was not at all practicable, Stalin said in the resolution that was supported by all parties other than the BJP, whose member Vanathi Srinivasan saw in it an electoral reform and a cost cutting measure. Leaders of all the other parties endorsed Stalin’s view and saw in the move for ‘one nation, one election’ a conspiracy to deprive the politically conscious State of Tamil Nadu of adequate representation in Parliament. 

When it had become a struggle to fight for the State’s rights with a strength of 39 Lok Sabha members in the House, what would happen if the number was further brought down, Stalin asked, moving the resolution.

Giving an example, he said that in 1971, the States of Bihar and Tamil Nadu had almost the same population and were hence given equal number of people’s representatives. But now since Bihar’s population had shot up by one and a half times, should Tamil Nadu be penalized with a reduced

number of representatives, he asked. Talking about the one nation one election idea, he asked if the members of the Union government would give up their positions and go for a re-election if one or some of the State Assemblies were dissolved due to some crisis or the other and should all the States face a re-election in the event of the Union Government falling for some reason, he asked.

Stalin pointed to the 42nd and 84th Amendments to the Constitution that were brought to ensure that the democratic rights of the States were not reduced due to a drop in population, and said the proposal to go for delimitation on the basis of census after 2016 should vehemently be opposed. The Union Government’s moves went against State Rights, federalism, equal opportunity and the bid to destroy or disfigure the Constitution by those who would soon lose power in the election should be opposed, he said.

He wondered if elections to the local bodies would also be held along with the polls for the Lok Sabha and Assemblies and said that the local body elections came under the purview of the State Governments. When the Union Government lacked the wherewithal to hold elections to all its constituencies on a single day, how would it hold all elections in the country together, he asked. In her dissent to the resolution, Vanathi Srinivasan said there was no need to raise the question about local body polls as they had not been mentioned in the ‘one nation, one election’ plan and also added that the resolution was meaningless because the late M Karunanidhi had supported the idea of ‘one nation one election,’ in volume 2 of his autobiography, ‘Nenjuku Needhi’ (Justice for the Heart).

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