oppn parties ONOE: Arguments Matter, Not Numbers

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  • PM Modi says anti-India forces are against him but he will not bend
  • Campaigning ends for the 6th and penultimate phase of polling for the 2024 general elections. Voting on Saturday, May 25
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  • Delhi HC denies bail to Manish Sisodia, says non-recovery of cash not a proof that there was no corruption
  • H D Deve Gowda asks his grandson Prajwal Revanna, accused in rape and sexual molestation cases, to return to India or face his anger
  • Kolkata cops search for Bangladeshi MP Anwarul Azim Anar's chopped body parts in Bangar, near Kolkata. The MP was murdered in an apartment complex in New Town, Kolkata by opponents from bangladesh who hired a contract killer for the job
  • Clashes break out in Bengal's Nandigram as a BJP worker's mother is killed by miscreants
  • Google in talks with Foxconn to make Pixel phones and drones from plant near Chennai
  • Survey by S&P Global shows that business activity was robust in May and job creation was highest in 18 years
  • Indigo reports Rs 1895cr profit in Q4 last fiscal, and nearly $ 1bn in FY23-24, a record for Indian carriers. Proposes business class in busiest and busy routes
  • Stocks on fire on Thursday after initial uncertainty: Sensex gains 1196 points to 75418 and Nifty 369 points to 22967
  • Ricky Ponting turns down offer to coach Team India, says will not fit in his lifestyle
  • World Cup stage II archery: Pramatesh Fuge enter semifinals but men's and women's recurve teams lose their matches in the first round
  • Malaysian Open badminton: P V Sindhu enters third round after a scare and Ashmta Chaliha stuns third seed Beiwen Zhang of USA to enter third round too
  • Sharjah Challenge chess: Divya deshmukh wins title
Record RBI dividend to government spurs a rally in stock markets, Sensex and Nifty touch all-time highs intra-day on Thursday
oppn parties
ONOE: Arguments Matter, Not Numbers

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-01-24 06:02:18

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

When the government forms a panel to look into some important policy matter and if the panel issues a public notice calling for suggestions from interested individuals and entities, the exercise is not a referendum. It is an exercise to collect the views and arguments for and against the policy matter from the public based on which the panel, after incorporating its own expert opinion, submits its report to the government. In no case can the public opinion collected be treated as a vote on the policy matter and the panel should not, in fact cannot, put much weight solely on what the public thinks either for or against the subject matter on hand. It must go into the arguments put forward by the public, take the best of both that support or reject the policy matter and form its own opinion. It is then expected to submit this opinion to the government.

Hence, the panel formed to look into whether One Nation, One Election (ONOE) can be implemented in India, headed by former President Ram Nath Kovind, is wrong when it publishes figures that more than 80% of the more than 20000 respondents who have filed submissions before it have voted in favour of having simultaneous elections in the country. The numbers who have favoured the change is not important. It is the quality of arguments that matter. It can be that 16000 respondents have argued for change to ONOE but their arguments are same or similar. In that case, given the context, their submissions will count as just one. On the other hand, there can be 4000 respondents who have given forceful and different arguments against the change. Their opinion will matter more due to the fact that they have argued better.

There are many arguments both for and against having simultaneous elections in India. The panel needs to study all these arguments in depth and then submit its opinion to the government. It does not need to be swayed by the numbers who have argued for it if their arguments are similar. ONOE is a momentous electoral reform and it cannot be rushed.