This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri and Raman Kirpal are joined by academic Zoya Hasan and former chief election commissioner Dr SY Quraishi.
On the Modi government’s emphasis on Bharat, Zoya said it is an attempt to reappropriate nationalism, and its original provocation was the opposition bloc’s INDIA branding. She said the BJP is striving to regain the monopoly it seemed to enjoy over nationalism, while the use of Bharat over India is also a part of the party’s “cultural agenda”.
Moving on to the centre’s ‘one nation, one election’ idea, Zoya said it is “unfederal” and impractical, as it implies a fixed term for both the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas. “This idea is essentially unfederal, if not anti-federal, and is in a way against the states.” Meanwhile, Dr Quraishi said the concept of the “double engine government” is the biggest attack on federalism. He said, “Double engine sarkar means if you do not vote for my party, I will not give money to your state.”
About cutting costs in elections, he said a better way to do it would be to put a ceiling on the expenditure by political parties. Raman said there should be a study first on election expenses. “Why not cut costs when it comes to the G20?” asked Abhinandan. “Is too much democracy now a problem?”
This and a lot more, tune in!
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