Choosing between villainous and virtuous is an easy task. But what if we need to choose between the evil and the less-evil! Its very perplexing. Upsetting indeed.
With the episode of state election on the hype, every now and then, I spot the advertisement of many political parties about their works and achievements. To the utmost, many times, I have received calls from the pool of various parties to ensure that I am casting my vote in their favour.
In the democratic kind of government the question always ensues that what we should do when we don’t like any of the candidates or we don’t find anyone apt for the job. Having an analytical view in mind the option of NOTA is a welcome relief with reference to the aforementioned problem.
In the landmark judgement of September 13, 2013 the Supreme Court of India has cleared that with the inclusion of NOTA the voters would be able to show their disagreement.
Further, in a press release on 18th of September, 2015 by the Election Commission of India under the subject “Symbol for None of the Above”, the EC had introduced the symbol stating that a voter can cast his/her vote as NOTA in case he or she is not satisfied with any of the candidates. “The main objective of NOTA option is to enable electors who do not wish to vote for any of the candidates without violation of the secrecy of their decision” said the EC official.
Before the introduction of NOTA, the voters willing to cast negative vote needed to put their name into the register and cast their vote on a separate ballot box. This rule is stated under the section 49(O) of the conduct of election rules, 1961, in which a voter needed to fill the form 17A and cast negative vote. Under this rule the identity of the voters was not protected. So, with the introduction of NOTA one can anonymously cast their disagreement.
Difference between not voting and voting for NOTA-
The difference between the two lies in the action. When people don’t vote, they just don’t use their suffrage which the constitution has given them. They simply choose to sit out the situation. But if people vote negative i.e., if they go with NOTA, then they are suggesting that they don’t find any of the representatives suitable for their constituency. It will directly send the gist to the candidates that people don’t agree with any of them and they need to work harder and honest.
Like RTI, NOTA can make an enormous difference to edify the society but one can not ensure the overnight change. With reference to the NOTA it was first used in the assembly elections held in 2013 and more than 15 lakh people exercised the option in the states polls. Albeit the figure is very low as compared to the total number of voters but every herculean change has a weensy start.
If I am an honest citizen of my country and I am inclined to usher the change, my NOTA choice can certainly make a difference. After all it’s my legitimate right and I have an exhaustive right to utilize it to bring the desirable change.