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It was first conjecture floating in the wind and, then, it has become reality! Former President Ram Nath Kovind has been tasked to lead a committee that will examine how a ‘one nation, one election’ system may be implemented in the country. The very idea has sent shockwaves through the opposition, whose first reaction has been to reject the idea out of hand. It is unlikely to be implemented before the next Lok Sabha election but it will be a primary component of the opposition’s nightmares for some time to come.

Another shadow that loomed over the INDI Alliance at its Mumbai meet was the special session of Parliament summoned from 18 to 22 September. Having experienced PM Modi’s ‘surgical strikes’ over the past nine years, the alliance is wondering how it could be outmaneuvered, particularly in its own backyard. Calmer observers feel that the session is to clear the backlog in legislation, particularly as important bills are pending – nothing really to get all het up about!

‘One nation, one election’ is a good idea in theory, especially as India in the present day cannot remain perpetually in electoral mode. Apart from the constitutional requirements necessary to bring about the changes, which could require the opposition’s support, a number of scenarios will have to be catered to – how to get the elections in sync and, then, how to ensure the Lok Sabha and assemblies remain in parallel mode, etc. The issue has already been politicised, so it is unlikely that any consensus will emerge in the near future on the issue.

Everybody knows that Modi is a master of misdirection and his actual target might be entirely something else. It may have to do with the continuing situation in Manipur, or the next stage in the J&K transformation process. The threat of crucial legislation being passed in Parliament might motivate the opposition to participate, even try and scuttle the proceedings through the usual uproar, walkouts, etc. Everybody will also be curious about how the NDA will exploit the faultlines in opposition unity to ensure there is as little consolidation of votes as possible – the coming session might also have something to do with that. No wonder, the INDI Alliance has its knickers in a twist. And, of course, it could just be sound and fury, signifying nothing! It will all become clear soon enough.