'Assault on Democracy': Former V-P Hamid Ansari Rejects 'One Nation, One Election'

In an interview to News18, former vice-president Hamid Ansari was also quite vocal about the ‘first past the post’ system of electoral victories in India.

New Delhi: Former vice-president Hamid Ansari has opposed the idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, dismissing the ‘one nation, one election’ theory as an “assault on India’s democracy”.

In an interview to News18, Ansari said, “India is a diverse land. To have the thought of one big country our size having one election is just an unworkable idea. You require security to move in multiple phases even during an Assembly election. So how are you going to provide security across the nation if polls were to be held simultaneously.”

The former V-P was also quite vocal about the ‘first past the post’ system of electoral victories in India. “The problem is that majority of leaders get elected despite not securing more than 50% votes. How can they then claim to represent the entire constituency?” he asked.

Ansari’s view comes even as the Law Commissioner is preparing a report on simultaneous elections after a discussion with political parties.

Ansari also spoke at length about the “environment of insecurity” among India’s minorities. “We must understand that even after so many years, Sachar Panel recommendations haven’t been implemented in full. This environment of creating the ‘other’ hurts our democracy,” he said.

On the specific proposal of seeking reservations for Dalits in minority institutes like the Aligarh Muslim University, Ansari, who is an alumnus of the prestigious university, said, “People must look at the law carefully. It’s mentioned very clearly which is the agency which can manage funds for any university.”

For the full interview, tune into ‘Viewpoint’ on CNN-News18 at 9pm on July 12.