New Delhi: In a sharp difference of opinion on holding simultaneous elections, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) members at the all-party meet held at the Parliament on Wednesday said that the concept is “anti-federal and anti-democratic”.

Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of CPI(M) said that the concept of ‘One Nation, One Election’ is “fundamentally anti-federal and anti-democratic and strikes at the root of the parliamentary democratic system, as ordained in the Constitution.”

He said that there are also technical issues involved in the process of conducting simultaneous elections to the Parliament and state Assemblies.

He asserted that the concept was removed after the initial elections when the Constitution was adopted because it was misused by the Central government under Article 356 or President’s Rule, that deals with the “failure of constitutional machinery in the State.”

He further said that holding simultaneous elections would mean “tampering with the Constitutional scheme of accountability of the government to the legislature.”

Moreover, he termed NITI Aayog’s proposal to implement the President’s Rule if the Lok Sabha is dissolved as “outrageous” and said that it “will make the President the head of the executive”. He added, “This is bringing an executive Presidency through the back door.”

Not just the CPI(M), but the Dravida Muneka Kazhagham (DMK) also claimed that the proposal will only benefit the ruling BJP government.

Rejecting the proposal, DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said, “A state is an independent entity. The proposal will result in breaking the country. What will happen if a state government falls mid-way its term? Will people have to wait for five years?”

A senior AIADMK leader said, “In a multi-lingual, multi-cultural federal India, such a concept may not succeed unless the Constitution is amended, curtailing the power of the Central government in dismissing a state government.”

Several parties had skipped the meeting on Wednesday showing their disinterest towards the proposal including Congress-led UPA, Trinamool Congress.

With inputs from agencies