Politicians are under constant attack following 26/11. A new movement has now asked for change in the election process to allow voters ‘negative voting’.
Though the Conduct of Elections Rules has such a provision, the electronic voting machines (EVMs) have no buttons with “none of the above” option, which is also called NOTA internationally.
The NOTA system is being followed in France, Colombia, Nevada (USA), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and Ukraine and Bangladesh (in December).
A senior income tax official has begun a movement to get NOTA incorporated in EVMs so that voters can go for it if they don’t find any suitable candidate.
RS Srivastav, additional commissioner of Income Tax in Mumbai, has travelled 1,400 km in Gujarat by motorcycle last week to create awareness about NOTA.
Incidentally, a petition on the same issue, filed by a non-government organisation, is also coming up for hearing before the apex court on Tuesday.
Earlier this week he distributed material on NOTA at Churchgate.
Srivastav said that Rule 49-O in the Conduct of Elections Rules provides for NOTA option, but is not incorporated in the EVM. A voter who wants to go for negative voting has to approach the presiding officer who would make a remark against the electoral roll number of the voter. “However, this exposes the secrecy of the voter which is contrary to the clause in the Representation of the People Act and also the Constitution of India.”
He said people must press for incorporation of the NOTA option to enable them to go for it fearlessly.