As the election fever kicks in, a citizen group has been asking Mumbaiites to use the ‘none of the above’ or NOTA option for the upcoming civic elections and reject all the candidates contesting for the elections.
The citizen group, ‘Free A Billion’, wants people to vote for NOTA as a mark of protest against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) failure in providing good civic services in the city.
Biney Koul, member of Free A Billion, said, “If a large number of people vote for NOTA, then it shows that they are protesting against the system in itself. We need to bring structural changes in the civic system to make it citizen-inclusive.”
Free A Billion has been looking into the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act, 1888 to make the system more inclusive. The BMC is currently run by the act.
The NOTA is a ballot option that a voter can choose instead of voting for any of the candidates. The Supreme Court in 2013 had ruled that every voter should have the option to register a NOTA. It has been an option on electronic voting machines since then.
With the civic elections held in 2012, this will be the first time Mumbaiites can opt for NOTA in the corporation elections.
Last week, the state election commissioner announced that elections for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be held on February 21 and the results will be announced on February 23.
Free A Billion has been urging citizens through social media websites like Facebook and Twitter since the day the elections were announced. “We have also been advocating the option of NOTA in colleges and civic society groups. We will continue our campaign to spread the message to maximum people,” Koul added.